Cloning of a sesquiterpene synthase from Lavandula x intermedia glandular trichomes
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The essential oil (EO) of Lavandula is dominated by monoterpenes, but can also contain small amounts of sesquiterpenes, depending on species and environmental conditions. For example, the sesquiterpene 9-epi-caryophyllene can make up to 8 % of the EO in a few species, including those commercially propagated for EO production. Here, we report the cloning and functional characterization of 9-epi-caryophyllene synthase (LiCPS) from the glandular trichomes of Lavandula x intermedia, cv. Grosso. The 1,617 bp open reading frame of LiCPS, which did not encode a transit peptide, was expressed in Escherichia coli and the recombinant protein purified by Ni–NTA agarose affinity chromatography. The ca. 60 kDa recombinant protein specifically converted farnesyl diphosphate to 9-epi-caryophyllene. LiCPS also produced a few monoterpenes when assayed with the monoterpene precursor geranyl diphosphate (GPP), but—unlike most monoterpene synthases—was not able to derive detectable amounts of any products from the cis isomer of GPP, neryl diphosphate. The LiCPS transcripts accumulated in developing L. x intermedia flowers and were highly enriched in glandular trichomes, but were not detected in leaves suggesting that the transcriptional expression of this gene is spatially and developmentally regulated.
KeywordsIsoprenoid Terpenoid Sesquiterpene Caryophyllene Essential oil Glandular trichome
This work was supported through grants or in-kind contributions to Soheil Mahmoud by UBC Okanagan, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, NRC Plant Biotechnology Institute through the NAPGEN program, and Genome British Columbia. We would also like to thank Lauren Erland for her help with manuscript editing.
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