Overexpression of Sinapine Esterase BnSCE3 in Oilseed Rape Seeds Triggers Global Changes in Seed Metabolism

Department of Secondary Metabolism, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, D-06120 Halle, Germany.
Plant physiology (Impact Factor: 6.84). 03/2011; 155(3):1127-45. DOI: 10.1104/pp.110.169821
Source: PubMed


Sinapine (O-sinapoylcholine) is the predominant phenolic compound in a complex group of sinapate esters in seeds of oilseed rape (Brassica napus). Sinapine has antinutritive activity and prevents the use of seed protein for food and feed. A strategy was developed to lower its content in seeds by expressing an enzyme that hydrolyzes sinapine in developing rape seeds. During early stages of seedling development, a sinapine esterase (BnSCE3) hydrolyzes sinapine, releasing choline and sinapate. A portion of choline enters the phospholipid metabolism, and sinapate is routed via 1-O-sinapoyl-β-glucose into sinapoylmalate. Transgenic oilseed rape lines were generated expressing BnSCE3 under the control of a seed-specific promoter. Two distinct single-copy transgene insertion lines were isolated and propagated to generate homozygous lines, which were subjected to comprehensive phenotyping. Sinapine levels of transgenic seeds were less than 5% of wild-type levels, whereas choline levels were increased. Weight, size, and water content of transgenic seeds were significantly higher than those of wild-type seeds. Seed quality parameters, such as fiber and glucosinolate levels, and agronomically important traits, such as oil and protein contents, differed only slightly, except that amounts of hemicellulose and cellulose were about 30% higher in transgenic compared with wild-type seeds. Electron microscopic examination revealed that a fraction of the transgenic seeds had morphological alterations, characterized by large cavities near the embryonic tissue. Transgenic seedlings were larger than wild-type seedlings, and young seedlings exhibited longer hypocotyls. Examination of metabolic profiles of transgenic seeds indicated that besides suppression of sinapine accumulation, there were other dramatic differences in primary and secondary metabolism. Mapping of these changes onto metabolic pathways revealed global effects of the transgenic BnSCE3 expression on seed metabolism.

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