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Selected Publication:

Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Full Paper

Year: 2010

Author(s): Crocoll, C; Asbach, J; Novak, J; Gershenzon, J; Degenhardt, J

Title: Terpene synthases of oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) and their roles in the pathway and regulation of terpene biosynthesis.

Source: Plant Mol Biol. 2010; 73(6):587-603



Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Novak Johannes

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds


Abstract:
The aroma, flavor and pharmaceutical value of cultivated oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) is a consequence of its essential oil which consists mostly of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. To investigate the biosynthetic pathway to oregano terpenes and its regulation, we identified and characterized seven terpene synthases, key enzymes of terpene biosynthesis, from two cultivars of O. vulgare. Heterologous expression of these enzymes showed that each forms multiple mono- or sesquiterpene products and together they are responsible for the direct production of almost all terpenes found in O. vulgare essential oil. The correlation of essential oil composition with relative and absolute terpene synthase transcript concentrations in different lines of O. vulgare demonstrated that monoterpene synthase activity is predominantly regulated on the level of transcription and that the phenolic monoterpene alcohol thymol is derived from gamma-terpinene, a product of a single monoterpene synthase. The combination of heterologously-expressed terpene synthases for in vitro assays resulted in blends of mono- and sesquiterpene products that strongly resemble those found in vivo, indicating that terpene synthase expression levels directly control the composition of the essential oil. These results will facilitate metabolic engineering and directed breeding of O. vulgare cultivars with higher quantity of essential oil and improved oil composition.

Keywords Pubmed: Alkyl and Aryl Transferases/classification
Alkyl and Aryl Transferases/genetics
Alkyl and Aryl Transferases/metabolism*
Biosynthetic Pathways*
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Isoenzymes/genetics
Isoenzymes/metabolism
Monoterpenes/metabolism
Multigene Family
Oils, Volatile/analysis
Origanum/enzymology*
Origanum/genetics
Phylogeny
Plant Leaves/enzymology
Plant Leaves/genetics
Plant Oils/analysis
Plant Proteins/genetics
Plant Proteins/metabolism*
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Sesquiterpenes/metabolism
Terpenes/metabolism*


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