Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 1979–1986 | Cite as

Antisense-overexpression of the MsCOMT gene induces changes in lignin and total phenol contents in transgenic tobacco plants

  • Eun Soo Seong
  • Ji Hye Yoo
  • Jae Geun Lee
  • Hee Young Kim
  • In Seong Hwang
  • Kweon Heo
  • Jae Kwang Kim
  • Jung Dae Lim
  • Erik J. Sacks
  • Chang Yeon Yu
Article

Abstract

Initially, we isolated the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene from Miscanthus sinensis (accession number HM062766.1). Next, we produced transgenic tobacco plants with down-regulated COMT gene expression to study its control of total phenol and lignin content and to perform morphological analysis. These transgenic plants were found to have reduced PAL and ascorbate peroxidases expression, which are related to the phenylpropanoid pathway and antioxidant activity. The MsCOMT-down-regulated plants had decreased total lignin in the leaves and stem compared with control plants. Reduced flavonol concentrations were confirmed in MsCOMT-down-regulated transgenic plants. We also observed a morphological difference, with reduced plant cell number in transgenic plants harboring antisense MsCOMT. The transgenic tobacco plants with down-regulated COMT gene expression demonstrate that COMT plays a crucial role related to controlling lignin and phenol content in plants. Also, COMT activity may be related to flavonoid production in the plant lignin pathway.

Keywords

APX COMT Lignin Miscanthus sinensis PAL Transgenic plant 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eun Soo Seong
    • 1
  • Ji Hye Yoo
    • 2
  • Jae Geun Lee
    • 2
  • Hee Young Kim
    • 2
  • In Seong Hwang
    • 2
  • Kweon Heo
    • 2
  • Jae Kwang Kim
    • 3
  • Jung Dae Lim
    • 4
  • Erik J. Sacks
    • 5
  • Chang Yeon Yu
    • 2
  1. 1.Bioherb Research InstituteKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Applied Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life ScienceKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.National Academy of Agricultural ScienceRural Development AdministrationSuwonSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Herbal Medicine ResourceKangwon National UniversitySamcheokSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of Crop Sciences 1101 1GB, MC-195 1206 W. Gregory Dr. UrbanaUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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