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Potential applications of glucosyltransferases in terpene glucoside production: impacts on the use of aroma and fragrance

Abstract

The detection of glucoconjugated forms of monoterpene alcohols in rose petals in the late 1960s opened the new field of nonvolatile aroma precursors in flavor research. It is now well established that odorless glycosides represent a significant pool of aroma precursors in plants where they act as preformed but inactivated defense or attractive chemicals. Technical improvements in the separation and identification of plant secondary metabolites have provided a multitude of chemical structures, but functional characterization of glycosyltransferases that catalyze their formation lags behind. As technical efforts and costs for DNA sequencing dramatically dropped during the last decade, the number of plant genome sequences increased significantly, thus providing opportunities to functionally characterize the glycosyltransferase gene families in plants. These studies yielded the first glycosyltransferase genes that encode efficient biocatalysts for the production of monoterpene glucosides. They have applications in the food, feed, chemical, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries as slow release aroma chemicals.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful for the financial support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) SCHW634/17. APG acknowledges the Alexander von Humbolt Foundation (Bonn, Germany) for a research fellowship.

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Correspondence to Wilfried Schwab.

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Schwab, W., Fischer, T.C., Giri, A. et al. Potential applications of glucosyltransferases in terpene glucoside production: impacts on the use of aroma and fragrance. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 99, 165–174 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-014-6229-y

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Keywords

  • Flavor
  • Fragrance
  • Terpenes
  • Glycosyltransferases
  • Terpene glucosides