Characterization of spermidine hydroxycinnamoyl transferases from eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) and its wild relative Solanum richardii Dunal.
ABSTRACT: Eggplant produces a variety of hydroxycinnamic acid amides (HCAAs) that have an important role in plant development and adaptation to environmental changes. In this study, we identified and characterized a spermidine hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (SHT) from eggplant (Solanum melongena) and its wild relative S. richardii, designated as SmSHT and SrSHT, respectively. SmSHT was abundant in flowers and fruits, whereas the level of SrSHT was remarkably low in all tissues. Heat-shock/drought treatment stimulated the expression of SmSHT in both leaves and fruits, indicating its involvement in plant stress response. Both SHT polypeptides had extremely high identity with just five amino-acid substitutions. Recombinant SmSHT catalyzed the synthesis of mono-, bi- and tri- acylated polyamines. Using caffeoyl-CoA as the acyl donor, SmSHT preferred spermidine as the acyl acceptor. When spermidine was the acyl acceptor, the donor preference order for SmSHT was caffeoyl-CoA>feruloyl-CoA>?-coumaroyl-CoA. SrSHT exhibited the same substrate specificity as SmSHT, yet exhibited significantly higher catalytic activity than SmSHT. For example, under caffeoyl-CoA and spermidine, Kcat of SrSHT was 37.3% higher than SmSHT. Molecular modeling suggests that five amino-acid substitutions in SrSHT result in four alterations in their predicted 3D structures. In particular, the conserved Lys402 adjacent to the DFGWG motif, and Cys200 in the crossover loop in SmSHT were replaced by Glu and Ser in SrSHT. These substitutions may contribute to the enhanced activity in SrSHT. Our study provides a platform to generate HCAA rich fruits for eggplant and other solanaceous crops.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hydroxycinnamoyl-spermine conjugates (HCSpm) are a class of hydroxycinnamic acid amides (HCAAs), which not only are instrumental in plant development and stress response, but also benefit human health. However, HCSpm are not commonly produced in plants, and the mechanism of their biosynthesis remains unclear. In previous investigations of phenolics in Solanum fruits related to eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), we discovered that Solanum richardii, an African wild relative of eggplant, was rich in HCSpms in fruits. RESULTS:The putative spermine hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HT) SpmHT was isolated from S. richardii and eggplant. SrSpmHT expression was high in flowers and fruit, and was associated with HCSpm accumulation in S. richardii; however, SpmHT was hardly detected in eggplant cultivars and other wild relatives. Recombinant SpmHT exclusively selected spermine as the acyl acceptor substrate, while showing donor substrate preference in the following order: caffeoyl-CoA, feruloyl-CoA, and p-coumaroyl-CoA. Molecular docking revealed that substrate binding pockets of SpmHT could properly accommodate spermine but not the shorter, more common spermidine. CONCLUSION:SrSpmHT is a novel spermine hydroxycinnamoyl transferase that uses Spm exclusively as the acyl acceptor substrate to produce HCSpms. Our findings shed light on the HCSpm biosynthetic pathway that may allow an increase of health beneficial metabolites in Solanum crops via methods such as introgression or engineering HCAA metabolism.
Project description:2-Methylketones are involved in plant defense and fragrance and have industrial applications as flavor additives and for biofuel production. We isolated three genes from the crop plant Solanum melongena (eggplant) and investigated these as candidates for methylketone production. The wild tomato methylketone synthase 2 (ShMKS2), which hydrolyzes ?-ketoacyl-acyl carrier proteins (ACP) to release ?-ketoacids in the penultimate step of methylketone synthesis, was used as a query to identify three homologs from S. melongena: SmMKS2-1, SmMKS2-2, and SmMKS2-3. Expression and functional characterization of SmMKS2s in E. coli showed that SmMKS2-1 and SmMKS2-2 exhibited the thioesterase activity against different ?-ketoacyl-ACP substrates to generate the corresponding saturated and unsaturated ?-ketoacids, which can undergo decarboxylation to form their respective 2-methylketone products, whereas SmMKS2-3 showed no activity. SmMKS2-1 was expressed at high level in leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits, whereas expression of SmMKS2-2 and SmMKS2-3 was mainly in flowers and fruits, respectively. Expression of SmMKS2-1 was induced in leaves by mechanical wounding, and by methyl jasmonate or methyl salicylate, but SmMKS2-2 and SmMKS2-3 genes were not induced. SmMKS2-1 is a candidate for methylketone-based defense in eggplant, and both SmMKS2-1 and SmMKS2-2 are novel MKS2 enzymes for biosynthesis of methylketones as feedstocks to biofuel production.
Project description:The implementation of Infrared (IR) radiation in heated greenhouses possesses the advantage of high directional control and focused compensation of energy losses, appropriate for creating local microclimate conditions in highly energy-consuming systems, such as greenhouses. Moreover, it can efficiently maintain favorable environmental conditions at the plant canopy. The present study studies the application of Infrared (IR) heating in an experimental greenhouse with eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) cultivation. The experimental results are presented from a full cultivation period inside two identical, small scale experimental greenhouses, with IR and forced air heating system, respectively. The effects of IR heating over plant growth parameters, including the yield of the fruits as well as the total phenolic content and the antioxidant profile of eggplants fruits' extracts are measured and discussed. The results indicate a greater uniformity production in the IR heating greenhouse in terms of antioxidant and radical scavenging activities, as well as the total phenolic content. Moreover, the phenolic profile of eggplant fruits from both greenhouses revealed the existence of numerous bioactive compounds, some of which were only characteristic of the eggplant fruits from IR heated greenhouses.
Project description:Avenanthramides are a group of N-cinnamoylanthranilic acids, with health-promoting properties mainly found in oat (Avena sativa L.). However, the biosynthetic mechanism for the main three types of avenanthramides (Avn-A, Avn-B and Avn-C) is not completely understood. In the present study, we report molecular identification and functional characterization of three different types of genes from oat encoding 4-coumarate-CoA ligase (4CL), hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:hydroxyanthranilate N-hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HHT) and a caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT) enzymes, all involved in the biosynthesis of these avenanthramides. In vitro enzymatic assays using the proteins expressed in Escherichia coli showed that oat 4CL could convert p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid to their CoA thioesters. Oat HHTs were only responsible for the biosynthesis of Avn-A and Avn-C using hydroxyanthranilic acid as an acyl acceptor and p-coumaroyl-CoA and caffeoyl-CoA as an acyl donor, respectively. Avn-B was synthesized by a CCoAOMT enzyme through the methylation of Avn-C. Collectively, these results have elucidated the molecular mechanisms for the biosynthesis of three major avenanthramides in vitro and paved the way for metabolic engineering of the biosynthetic pathway in heterologous systems to produce nutraceutically important compounds and make possible genetic improvement of this nutritional trait in oat through marker-assisted breeding.
Project description:The eggplant was mutagenized with ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) to enhance its genetic variability in our previous paper. In this article, we further analyzed the phenotype of M2 generation of mutant eggplants. A total of 325 independent M2 families were investigated for phenotypic variation. In addition to the visible phenotypic variation, chlorogenic acid (CGA) concentrations were analyzed in 26 fruits of mutants with High Performance Liquid Chromatography assay. Seventeen fruits exhibited significantly higher concentrations of CGAs than those in wild-type. The anthocyanin concentration of S9-1, the purple black mutant, was higher than WT, meanwhile, the anthocyanin concentration of L6-4 and U36-1 was lower than WT. Furthermore, our RT-PCR result demonstrated that the expression levels of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, except for SmPAL, were increased in S9-1, and the regulator SmMYB1 was decreased in L6-4 and U36-1 mutants. Together, our data indicated that, M2 generation showed abundant phenotypic variations and the strong potential usage for next step of breeding and molecular genetic mechanisms in eggplant.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) and turkey berry (S. torvum Sw.), a wild ally of eggplant with promising multi-disease resistance traits, are of great economic, medicinal and genetic importance, but genomic resources for these species are lacking. In the present study, we sequenced the transcriptomes of eggplant and turkey berry to accelerate research on these two non-model species. RESULTS: We built comprehensive, high-quality de novo transcriptome assemblies of the two Leptostemonum clade Solanum species from short-read RNA-Sequencing data. We obtained 34,174 unigenes for eggplant and 38,185 unigenes for turkey berry. Functional annotations based on sequence similarity to known plant datasets revealed a distribution of functional categories for both species very similar to that of tomato. Comparison of eggplant, turkey berry and another 11 plant proteomes resulted in 276 high-confidence single-copy orthologous groups, reasonable phylogenetic tree inferences and reliable divergence time estimations. From these data, it appears that eggplant and its wild Leptostemonum clade relative turkey berry split from each other in the late Miocene, ~6.66 million years ago, and that Leptostemonum split from the Potatoe clade in the middle Miocene, ~15.75 million years ago. Furthermore, 621 and 815 plant resistance genes were identified in eggplant and turkey berry respectively, indicating the variation of disease resistance genes between them. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a comprehensive transcriptome resource for two Leptostemonum clade Solanum species and insight into their evolutionary history and biological characteristics. These resources establish a foundation for further investigations of eggplant biology and for agricultural improvement of this important vegetable. More generally, we show that RNA-Seq is a fast, reliable and cost-effective method for assessing genome evolution in non-model species.
Project description:The aerial organs of most terrestrial plants are covered by a hydrophobic protective cuticle. The main constituent of the cuticle is the lipid polyester cutin, which is composed of aliphatic and aromatic domains. The aliphatic component is a polyester between fatty acid/alcohol and hydroxycinnamoyl acid. The BAHD/HxxxD family enzymes are central to the synthesis of these polyesters. The nature of this class of enzymes in bryophytes has not been explored to date. Here, a gene encoding a fatty ?-hydroxyacid/fatty alcohol hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HFT) has been isolated from the liverwort Marchantia emarginata and has been functionally characterized. Experiments based on recombinant protein showed that the enzyme uses ?-hydroxy fatty acids or primary alcohols as its acyl acceptor and various hydroxycinnamoyl-CoAs-preferentially feruloyl-CoA and caffeoyl-CoA-as acyl donors at least in vitro. The transient expression of a MeHFT-GFP fusion transgene in the Nicotiana benthamiana leaf demonstrated that MeHFT is directed to the cytoplasm, suggesting that the feruloylation of cutin monomers takes place there.
Project description:Eggplant is one of the most widely cultivated vegetables in the world and has high biodiversity in terms of fruit shape, size, and color. Therefore, fruit morphology and nutrient content become important considerations for both consumers and breeders who develop new eggplant-based products. To gain insight on the diversity of eggplant metabolites, twenty-one eggplant accessions were analyzed by untargeted metabolomics using GC-MS and LC-MS. The dataset of eggplant fruit morphologies, and metabolites specific to different eggplant fruit accessions were used for correlation analysis. Untargeted metabolomics analysis using LC-MS and GC-MS was able to detect 136 and 207 peaks, respectively. Fifty-one (51) metabolites from the LC-MS analysis and 207 metabolites from the GC-MS analysis were putatively identified, which included alkaloids, terpenes, terpenoids, fatty acids, and flavonoids. Spearman correlation analysis revealed that 14 fruit morphologies were correlated with several metabolites. This information will be very useful for the development of strategies for eggplant breeding.
Project description:WRKY transcription factors, which play critical roles in stress responses, have not been characterized in eggplant or its wild relative, turkey berry. The recent availability of RNA-sequencing data provides the opportunity to examine WRKY genes from a global perspective. We identified 50 and 62 WRKY genes in eggplant (SmelWRKYs) and turkey berry (StorWRKYs), respectively, all of which could be classified into three groups (I-III) based on the WRKY protein structure. The SmelWRKYs and StorWRKYs contain ~76% and ~95% of the number of WRKYs found in other sequenced asterid species, respectively. Positive selection analysis revealed that different selection constraints could have affected the evolution of these groups. Positively-selected sites were found in Groups IIc and III. Branch-specific selection pressure analysis indicated that most WRKY domains from SmelWRKYs and StorWRKYs are conserved and have evolved at low rates since their divergence. Comparison to homologous WRKY genes in Arabidopsis revealed several potential pathogen resistance-related SmelWRKYs and StorWRKYs, providing possible candidate genetic resources for improving stress tolerance in eggplant and probably other Solanaceae plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a genome-wide analyses of the SmelWRKYs and StorWRKYs.
Project description:Long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD) is a key mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation enzyme. We previously demonstrated increased LCAD lysine acetylation in SIRT3 knockout mice concomitant with reduced LCAD activity and reduced fatty acid oxidation. To study the effects of acetylation on LCAD and determine sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) target sites, we chemically acetylated recombinant LCAD. Acetylation impeded substrate binding and reduced catalytic efficiency. Deacetylation with recombinant SIRT3 partially restored activity. Residues Lys-318 and Lys-322 were identified as SIRT3-targeted lysines. Arginine substitutions at Lys-318 and Lys-322 prevented the acetylation-induced activity loss. Lys-318 and Lys-322 flank residues Arg-317 and Phe-320, which are conserved among all acyl-CoA dehydrogenases and coordinate the enzyme-bound FAD cofactor in the active site. We propose that acetylation at Lys-318/Lys-322 causes a conformational change which reduces hydride transfer from substrate to FAD. Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase and acyl-CoA dehydrogenase 9, two related enzymes with lysines at positions equivalent to Lys-318/Lys-322, were also efficiently deacetylated by SIRT3 following chemical acetylation. These results suggest that acetylation/deacetylation at Lys-318/Lys-322 is a mode of regulating fatty acid oxidation. The same mechanism may regulate other acyl-CoA dehydrogenases.