Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 731-743

First online:

Molecular cloning and characterization of triterpene synthases from Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus

  • Iñaki Iturbe-OrmaetxeAffiliated withSainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre
  • , Kosmas HaralampidisAffiliated withSainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre
  • , Kalliopi PapadopoulouAffiliated withNational Agricultural Research Foundation, Institute of Kalamata
  • , Anne E. OsbournAffiliated withSainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Cloning of OSCs required for triterpene synthesis from legume species that are amenable to molecular genetics will provide tools to address the importance of triterpenes and their derivatives during normal plant growth and development and also in interactions with symbionts and pathogens. Here we report the cloning and characterization of a total of three triterpene synthases from the legume species Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus. These include a β-amyrin synthase from M. truncatula (MtAMYI) and a mixed function triterpene synthase from Lotus japonicus (LjAMY2). A partial cDNA predicted to encode a β-amyrin synthase (LjAMY1) was also isolated from L. japonicus. The expression patterns of MtAMY1, LjAMY1 and LjAMY2 and of additional triterpene synthases previously characterised from M. truncatula and pea differ in different plant tissues and during nodulation, suggesting that these enzymes may have distinct roles in plant physiology and development.

α-amyrin β-amyrin lupeol nodulation saponins sterols