Metabolic engineering of terpene biosynthesis in plants using a trichome-specific transcription factor MsYABBY5 from spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Reddy, Vaishnavi Amarr
Venkatesh, Prasanna Nori
Date of Issue2016
Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
In many aromatic plants including spearmint (Mentha spicata), the sites of secondary metabolite production are tiny specialized structures called peltate glandular trichomes (PGT). Having high commercial values, these secondary metabolites are exploited largely as flavours, fragrances and pharmaceuticals. But, knowledge about transcription factors (TFs) that regulate secondary metabolism in PGT remains elusive. Understanding the role of TFs in secondary metabolism pathway will aid in metabolic engineering for increased yield of secondary metabolites and also the development of new production techniques for valuable metabolites. Here, we isolated and functionally characterized a novel MsYABBY5 gene that is preferentially expressed in PGT of spearmint. We generated transgenic plants in which MsYABBY5 was either overexpressed or silenced using RNA interference (RNAi). Analysis of the transgenic lines showed that the reduced expression of MsYABBY5 led to increased levels of terpenes and that overexpression decreased terpene levels. Additionally, ectopic expression of MsYABBY5 in Ocimum basilicum and Nicotiana sylvestris decreased secondary metabolite production in them, suggesting that the encoded transcription factor is probably a repressor of secondary metabolism.
Plant Biotechnology Journal
© 2016 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.