Role of petal-specific orcinol O-methyltransferases in the evolution of rose scent.
ABSTRACT Orcinol O-methyltransferase (OOMT) 1 and 2 catalyze the last two steps of the biosynthetic pathway leading to the phenolic methyl ether 3,5-dimethoxytoluene (DMT), the major scent compound of many rose (Rosa x hybrida) varieties. Modern roses are descended from both European and Chinese species, the latter being producers of phenolic methyl ethers but not the former. Here we investigated why phenolic methyl ether production occurs in some but not all rose varieties. In DMT-producing varieties, OOMTs were shown to be localized specifically in the petal, predominantly in the adaxial epidermal cells. In these cells, OOMTs become increasingly associated with membranes during petal development, suggesting that the scent biosynthesis pathway catalyzed by these enzymes may be directly linked to the cells' secretory machinery. OOMT gene sequences were detected in two non-DMT-producing rose species of European origin, but no mRNA transcripts were detected, and these varieties lacked both OOMT protein and enzyme activity. These data indicate that up-regulation of OOMT gene expression may have been a critical step in the evolution of scent production in roses.
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ABSTRACT: For centuries, rose has been the most important crop in the floriculture industry; its economic importance also lies in the use of its petals as a source of natural fragrances. Here, we used genomics approaches to identify novel scent-related genes, using rose flowers from tetraploid scented and nonscented cultivars. An annotated petal EST database of approximately 2100 unique genes from both cultivars was created, and DNA chips were prepared and used for expression analyses of selected clones. Detailed chemical analysis of volatile composition in the two cultivars, together with the identification of secondary metabolism-related genes whose expression coincides with scent production, led to the discovery of several novel flower scent-related candidate genes. The function of some of these genes, including a germacrene D synthase, was biochemically determined using an Escherichia coli expression system. This work demonstrates the advantages of using the high-throughput approaches of genomics to detail traits of interest expressed in a cultivar-specific manner in nonmodel plants. EST sequences were submitted to the GenBank database (accession numbers BQ 103855 to BQ 106728).The Plant Cell 11/2002; 14(10):2325-38. · 8.99 Impact Factor
Article: Molecular analysis of the anthocyanin2 gene of petunia and its role in the evolution of flower color.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The shape and color of flowers are important for plant reproduction because they attract pollinators such as insects and birds. Therefore, it is thought that alterations in these traits may result in the attraction of different pollinators, genetic isolation, and ultimately, (sympatric) speciation. Petunia integrifolia and P. axillaris bear flowers with different shapes and colors that appear to be visited by different insects. The anthocyanin2 (an2) locus, a regulator of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway, is the main determinant of color differences. Here, we report an analysis of molecular events at the an2 locus that occur during Petunia spp evolution. We isolated an2 by transposon tagging and found that it encodes a MYB domain protein, indicating that it is a transcription factor. Analysis of P. axillaris subspecies with white flowers showed that they contain an2(-) alleles with two alternative frameshifts at one site, apparently caused by the insertion and subsequent excision of a transposon. A third an2(-) allele has a nonsense mutation elsewhere, indicating that it arose independently. The distribution of polymorphisms in an2(-) alleles suggests that the loss of an2 function and the consequent changes in floral color were not the primary cause for genetic separation of P. integrifolia and P. axillaris. Rather, they were events that occurred late in the speciation process, possibly to reinforce genetic isolation and complete speciation.The Plant Cell 09/1999; 11(8):1433-44. · 8.99 Impact Factor
Article: O-methyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of volatile phenolic derivatives in rose petals.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Rose (Rosa hybrida) flowers produce and emit a diverse array of volatiles, characteristic to their unique scent. One of the most prominent compounds in the floral volatiles of many rose varieties is the methoxylated phenolic derivative 3,5-dimethoxytoluene (orcinol dimethyl ether). Cell-free extracts derived from developing rose petals displayed O-methyltransferase (OMT) activities toward several phenolic substrates, including 3,5-dihydroxytoluene (orcinol), 3-methoxy,5-hydroxytoluene (orcinol monomethyl ether), 1-methoxy, 2-hydroxy benezene (guaiacol), and eugenol. The activity was most prominent in rose cv Golden Gate, a variety that produces relatively high levels of orcinol dimethyl ether, as compared with rose cv Fragrant Cloud, an otherwise scented variety but which emits almost no orcinol dimethyl ether. Using a functional genomics approach, we have identified and characterized two closely related cDNAs from a rose petal library that each encode a protein capable of methylating the penultimate and immediate precursors (orcinol and orcinol monomethyl ether, respectively) to give the final orcinol dimethyl ether product. The enzymes, designated orcinol OMTs (OOMT1 and OOMT2), are closely related to other plant methyltransferases whose substrates range from isoflavones to phenylpropenes. The peak in the levels of OOMT1 and OOMT2 transcripts in the flowers coincides with peak OMT activity and with the emission of orcinol dimethyl ether.Plant physiology 09/2002; 129(4):1899-907. · 6.53 Impact Factor