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Amsterdam-Zuidoost, Netherlands

Glas J.J.,Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics | Schimmel B.C.J.,Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics | Alba J.M.,Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics | Escobar-Bravo R.,Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture Institute La Mayora IHSM | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2012

Glandular trichomes are specialized hairs found on the surface of about 30% of all vascular plants and are responsible for a significant portion of a plant's secondary chemistry. Glandular trichomes are an important source of essential oils, i.e., natural fragrances or products that can be used by the pharmaceutical industry, although many of these substances have evolved to provide the plant with protection against herbivores and pathogens. The storage compartment of glandular trichomes usually is located on the tip of the hair and is part of the glandular cell, or cells, which are metabolically active. Trichomes and their exudates can be harvested relatively easily, and this has permitted a detailed study of their metabolites, as well as the genes and proteins responsible for them. This knowledge now assists classical breeding programs, as well as targeted genetic engineering, aimed to optimize trichome density and physiology to facilitate customization of essential oil production or to tune biocide activity to enhance crop protection. We will provide an overview of the metabolic diversity found within plant glandular trichomes, with the emphasis on those of the Solanaceae, and of the tools available to manipulate their activities for enhancing the plant's resistance to pests. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Falara V.,University of Michigan | Akhtar T.A.,University of Michigan | Nguyen T.T.H.,University of Michigan | Spyropoulou E.A.,Swammerdam Institute of Life science | And 8 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2011

Compounds of the terpenoid class play numerous roles in the interactions of plants with their environment, such as attracting pollinators and defending the plant against pests. We show here that the genome of cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) contains 44 terpene synthase (TPS) genes, including 29 that are functional or potentially functional. Of these 29 TPS genes, 26 were expressed in at least some organs or tissues of the plant. The enzymatic functions of eight of the TPS proteins were previously reported, and here we report the specific in vitro catalytic activity of 10 additional tomato terpene synthases. Many of the tomato TPS genes are found in clusters, notably on chromosomes 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10. All TPS family clades previously identified in angiosperms are also present in tomato. The largest clade of functional TPS genes found in tomato, with 12 members, is the TPS-a clade, and it appears to encode only sesquiterpene synthases, one of which is localized to the mitochondria, while the rest are likely cytosolic. A few additional sesquiterpene synthases are encoded by TPS-b clade genes. Some of the tomato sesquiterpene synthases use z,z-farnesyl diphosphate in vitro as well, or more efficiently than, the e,e- farnesyl diphosphate substrate. Genes encoding monoterpene synthases are also prevalent, and they fall into three clades: TPS-b, TPS-g, and TPS-e/f. With the exception of two enzymes involved in the synthesis of ent-kaurene, the precursor of gibberellins, no other tomato TPS genes could be demonstrated to encode diterpene synthases so far. © 2011 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved. Source

Bleeker P.M.,Swammerdam Institute of Life science | Bleeker P.M.,Keygene NV | Spyropoulou E.A.,Swammerdam Institute of Life science | Diergaarde P.J.,Keygene NV | And 9 more authors.
Plant Molecular Biology | Year: 2011

Solanum lycopersicum and Solanum habrochaites (f. typicum) accession PI127826 emit a variety of sesquiterpenes. To identify terpene synthases involved in the production of these volatile sesquiterpenes, we used massive parallel pyrosequencing (RNA-seq) to obtain the transcriptome of the stem trichomes from these plants. This approach resulted initially in the discovery of six sesquiterpene synthase cDNAs from S. lycopersicum and five from S. habrochaites. Searches of other databases and the S. lycopersicum genome resulted in the discovery of two additional sesquiterpene synthases expressed in trichomes. The sesquiterpene synthases from S. lycopersicum and S. habrochaites have high levels of protein identity. Several of them appeared to encode for non-functional proteins. Functional recombinant proteins produced germacrenes, β-caryophyllene/α-humulene, viridiflorene and valencene from (E,E)-farnesyl diphosphate. However, the activities of these enzymes do not completely explain the differences in sesquiterpene production between the two tomato plants. RT-qPCR confirmed high levels of expression of most of the S. lycopersicum sesquiterpene synthases in stem trichomes. In addition, one sesquiterpene synthase was induced by jasmonic acid, while another appeared to be slightly repressed by the treatment. Our data provide a foundation to study the evolution of terpene synthases in cultivated and wild tomato. © 2011 The Author(s). Source

Tyler C.A.,University of California at Davis | Kopit L.,University of California at Davis | Doyle C.,University of California at Davis | Yu A.O.,University of California at Davis | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Microbiology | Year: 2016

Aims: This study examined the fermentative growth and polyol production of Lactobacillus florum and other plant-associated lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Methods and Results: Sugar consumption and end-product production were measured for Lact. florum 2F in the presence of fructose, glucose and both sugars combined. The genome of Lact. florum was examined for genes required for mannitol and erythritol biosynthesis. The capacity for other plant-associated LAB to synthesize polyols was also assessed. Conclusions: Lactobacillus florum exhibited higher growth rates and cell yields in the presence of both fructose and glucose. Lactobacillus florum 2F produced lactate, acetate and ethanol as well as erythritol and mannitol. Lactobacillus florum 2F synthesized mannitol during growth on fructose and erythritol during growth on glucose. Gene and protein homology searches identified a mannitol dehydrogenase in the Lact. florum 2F genome but not the genes responsible for erythritol biosynthesis. Lastly, we found that numerous other heterofermentative LAB species synthesize erythritol and/or mannitol. Significance and Impact of the Study: Lactobacillus florum is a recently identified, plant-associated, fructophilic LAB species. Our results show that Lact. florum growth rates and heterofermentation end-products differ depending on the sugar substrates present and growth yields can be improved when combinations of sugars are provided. Lactobacillus florum 2F produces erythritol and mannitol, two polyols that are relevant to foods and potentially also in plant environments. The capacity for polyol biosynthesis appears to be common among plant-associated, LAB species. © 2016 The Society for Applied Microbiology. Source

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