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Wasternack, C.; Hause, B. A Bypass in Jasmonate Biosynthesis – the OPR3-independent Formation Trends Plant Sci 23, 276-279, (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.02.011

For the first time in 25 years, a new pathway for biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) has been identified. JA production takes place via 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) including reduction by OPDA reductases (OPRs). A loss-of-function allele, opr3-3, revealed an OPR3-independent pathway converting OPDA to JA.

Wasternack, C.; Strnad, M. Jasmonates: News on Occurrence, Biosynthesis, Metabolism and Action of an Ancient Group of Signaling Compounds Int J Mol Sci 19, 2539, (2018) DOI: 10.3390/ijms19092539

Jasmonic acid (JA) and its related derivatives are ubiquitously occurring compounds of land plants acting in numerous stress responses and development. Recent studies on evolution of JA and other oxylipins indicated conserved biosynthesis. JA formation is initiated by oxygenation of α-linolenic acid (α-LeA, 18:3) or 16:3 fatty acid of chloroplast membranes leading to 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) as intermediate compound, but in Marchantiapolymorpha and Physcomitrellapatens, OPDA and some of its derivatives are final products active in a conserved signaling pathway. JA formation and its metabolic conversion take place in chloroplasts, peroxisomes and cytosol, respectively. Metabolites of JA are formed in 12 different pathways leading to active, inactive and partially active compounds. The isoleucine conjugate of JA (JA-Ile) is the ligand of the receptor component COI1 in vascular plants, whereas in the bryophyte M. polymorpha COI1 perceives an OPDA derivative indicating its functionally conserved activity. JA-induced gene expressions in the numerous biotic and abiotic stress responses and development are initiated in a well-studied complex regulation by homeostasis of transcription factors functioning as repressors and activators.

Wasternack, C.; Feussner, I. The Oxylipin Pathways: Biochemistry and Function Annu Rev Plant Biol 69, 363-386, (2018) DOI: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-042817-040440

Plant oxylipins form a constantly growing group of signaling molecules that comprise oxygenated fatty acids and metabolites derived therefrom. In the last decade, the understanding of biosynthesis, metabolism, and action of oxylipins, especially jasmonates, has dramatically improved. Additional mechanistic insights into the action of enzymes and insights into signaling pathways have been deepened for jasmonates. For other oxylipins, such as the hydroxy fatty acids, individual signaling properties and cross talk between different oxylipins or even with additional phytohormones have recently been described. This review summarizes recent understanding of the biosynthesis, regulation, and function of oxylipins.

Goetz, S.; Hellwege, A.; Stenzel, I.; Kutter, C.; Hauptmann, V.; Forner, S.; McCaig, B.; Hause, G.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Hause, B. Role of cis-12-oxo-phytodienoic acid in tomato embryo development. Plant Physiol 158, 1715-1727, (2012) DOI: 10.1104/pp.111.192658

Oxylipins including jasmonates are signaling compounds in plant growth, development, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) most mutants affected in jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and signaling are male sterile, whereas the JA-insensitive tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) mutant jai1 is female sterile. The diminished seed formation in jai1 together with the ovule-specific accumulation of the JA biosynthesis enzyme allene oxide cyclase (AOC), which correlates with elevated levels of JAs, suggest a role of oxylipins in tomato flower/seed development. Here, we show that 35S::SlAOC-RNAi lines with strongly reduced AOC in ovules exhibited reduced seed set similarly to the jai1 plants. Investigation of embryo development of wild-type tomato plants showed preferential occurrence of AOC promoter activity and AOC protein accumulation in the developing seed coat and the embryo, whereas 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) was the dominant oxylipin occurring nearly exclusively in the seed coat tissues. The OPDA- and JA-deficient mutant spr2 was delayed in embryo development and showed an increased programmed cell death in the developing seed coat and endosperm. In contrast, the mutant acx1a, which accumulates preferentially OPDA and residual amount of JA, developed embryos similar to the wild type, suggesting a role of OPDA in embryo development. Activity of the residual amount of JA in the acx1a mutant is highly improbable since the known reproductive phenotype of the JA-insensitive mutant jai1 could be rescued by wound-induced formation of OPDA. These data suggest a role of OPDA or an OPDA-related compound for proper embryo development possibly by regulating carbohydrate supply and detoxification.

Stenzel, I.; Otto, M.; Delker, C.; Kirmse, N.; Schmidt, D.; Miersch, O.; Hause, B.; Wasternack, C. ALLENE OXIDE CYCLASE (AOC) gene family members of Arabidopsis thaliana: tissue- and organ-specific promoter activities and in vivo heteromerization J Exp Bot 63, 6125-6138, (2012) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ers261

Jasmonates are important signals in plant stress responses and plant development. An essential step in the biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) is catalysed by ALLENE OXIDE CYCLASE (AOC) which establishes the naturally occurring enantiomeric structure of jasmonates. In Arabidopsis thaliana, four genes encode four functional AOC polypeptides (AOC1, AOC2, AOC3, and AOC4) raising the question of functional redundancy or diversification. Analysis of transcript accumulation revealed an organ-specific expression pattern, whereas detailed inspection of transgenic lines expressing the GUS reporter gene under the control of individual AOC promoters showed partially redundant promoter activities during development: (i) In fully developed leaves, promoter activities of AOC1, AOC2, and AOC3 appeared throughout all leaf tissue, but AOC4 promoter activity was vascular bundle-specific; (ii) only AOC3 and AOC4 showed promoter activities in roots; and (iii) partially specific promoter activities were found for AOC1 and AOC4 in flower development. In situ hybridization of flower stalks confirmed the GUS activity data. Characterization of single and double AOC loss-of-function mutants further corroborates the hypothesis of functional redundancies among individual AOCs due to a lack of phenotypes indicative of JA deficiency (e.g. male sterility). To elucidate whether redundant AOC expression might contribute to regulation on AOC activity level, protein interaction studies using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) were performed and showed that all AOCs can interact among each other. The data suggest a putative regulatory mechanism of temporal and spatial fine-tuning in JA formation by differential expression and via possible heteromerization of the four AOCs.

Wasternack, C.; Goetz, S.; Hellwege, A.; Forner, S.; Strnad, M.; Hause, B. Another JA/COI1-independent role of OPDA detected in tomato embryo development. Plant Signal Behav 7, 1349-1353, (2012) DOI: 10.4161/psb.21551

Jasmonates (JAs) are ubiquitously occurring signaling compounds in plants formed in response to biotic and abiotic stress as well as in development. (+)-7-iso-jasmonoyl isoleucine, the bioactive JA, is involved in most JA-dependent processes mediated by the F-box protein COI1 in a proteasome-dependent manner. However, there is an increasing number of examples, where the precursor of JA biosynthesis, cis-(+)-12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA) is active in a JA/COI1-independent manner. Here, we discuss those OPDA-dependent processes, thereby giving emphasis on tomato embryo development. Recent data on seed coat-generated OPDA and its role in embryo development is discussed based on biochemical and genetic evidences.
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