Ziegler, J.; Facchini, P.J.; Geißler, R.; Schmidt, J.; Ammer, C.; Kramell, R.; Voigtländer, S.; Gesell, A.; Pienkny, S.; Brandt, W. Evolution of morphine biosynthesis in opium poppy. Phytochemistry 70, 1696 - 1707, (2009) DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.07.006
Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs) are a group of nitrogen-containing plant secondary metabolites comprised of an estimated 2500 identified structures. In BIA metabolism, (S)-reticuline is a key branch-point intermediate that can be directed into several alkaloid subtypes with different structural skeleton configurations. The morphinan alkaloids are one subclass of BIAs produced in only a few plant species, most notably and abundantly in the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Comparative transcriptome analysis of opium poppy and several other Papaver species that do not accumulate morphinan alkaloids showed that known genes encoding BIA biosynthetic enzymes are expressed at higher levels in P. somniferum. Three unknown cDNAs that are co-ordinately expressed with several BIA biosynthetic genes were identified as enzymes in the pathway. One of these enzymes, salutaridine reductase (SalR), which is specific for the production of morphinan alkaloids, was isolated and heterologously overexpressed in its active form not only from P. somniferum, but also from Papaver species that do not produce morphinan alkaloids.SalR is a member of a class of short chain dehydrogenase/reductases (SDRs) that are active as monomers and possess an extended amino acid sequence compared with classical SDRs. Homology modelling and substrate docking revealed the substrate binding site for SalR. The amino acids residues conferring salutaridine binding were compared to several members of the SDR family from different plant species, which non-specifically reduce ( )-menthone to (+)-neomenthol. Previously, it was shown that some of these proteins are involved in plant defence. The recruitment of specific monomeric SDRs from monomeric SDRs involved in plant defence is discussed.
Halim, V.A.; Altmann, S.; Ellinger, D.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Miersch, O.; Scheel, D.; Rosahl, S. PAMP-induced defense responses in potato require both salicylic acid and jasmonic acid Plant Journal 57, 230 - 242, (2009) DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03688.x
To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-induced defense responses in potato (Solanum tuberosum), the role of the signaling compounds salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) was analyzed. Pep-13, a PAMP from Phytophthora, induces the accumulation of SA, JA and hydrogen peroxide, as well as the activation of defense genes and hypersensitive-like cell death. We have previously shown that SA is required for Pep-13-induced defense responses. To assess the importance of JA, RNA interference constructs targeted at the JA biosynthetic genes, allene oxide cyclase and 12- oxophytodienoic acid reductase, were expressed in transgenic potato plants. In addition, expression of the F-box protein COI1 was reduced by RNA interference. Plants expressing the RNA interference constructs failed to accumulate the respective transcripts in response to wounding or Pep-13 treatment, neither did they contain significant amounts of JA after elicitation. In response to infiltration of Pep-13, the transgenic plants exhibited a highly reduced accumulation of reactive oxygen species as well as reduced hypersensitive cell death. The ability of the JA-deficient plants to accumulate SA suggests that SA accumulation is independent or upstream of JA accumulation. These data show that PAMP responses in potato require both SA and JA and that, in contrast to Arabidopsis, these compounds act in the same signal transduction pathway. Despite their inability to fully respond to PAMP treatment, the transgenic RNA interference plants are not altered in their basal defense against Phytophthora infestans.
Vandenborre, G.; Miersch, O.; Hause, B.; Smagghe, G.; Wasternack, C.; Van Damme, E.J.M. Spodoptera littoralis-Induced Lectin Expression in Tobacco Plant Cell Physiol 50, 1142-1155, (2009) DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcp065
The induced defense response in plants towards herbivores is mainly regulated by jasmonates and leads to the accumulation of so-called jasmonate-induced proteins. Recently, a jasmonate (JA) inducible lectin called Nicotiana tabacum agglutinin or NICTABA was discovered in tobacco( N. tabacum cv Samsun) leaves. Tobacco plants also accumulate the lectin after insect attack by caterpillars. To study the functional role of NICTABA, the accumulation of the JA precursor 12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA), JA as well as different JA metabolites were analyzed in tobacco leaves after herbivory by larvae of the cotton leafworm ( Spodoptera littoralis ) and correlated with NICTABA accumulation. It was shown that OPDA, JA as well as its methyl ester can trigger NICTABA accumulation. However, hydroxylation of JA and its subsequent sulfation and glucosylation results in inactive compounds that have lost the capacity to induce NICTABA gene expression. The expression profi le of NICTABA after caterpillar feeding was recorded in local as well as in systemic leaves, and compared to the expression of several genes encodingdefense proteins, and genes encoding a tobacco systemin and the allene oxide cyclase, an enzyme in JA biosynthesis. Furthermore, the accumulation of NICTABA was quantified after S. littoralis herbivory and immunofl uorescence microscopy was used to study the localization of NICTABA in the tobacco leaf.