A lavender ABC transporter confers resistance to monoterpene toxicity in yeast


Main conclusion

Functional expression of a multidrug resistance-type ABC transporter from Lavandulaangustifolia improved yeast resistance to geraniol, a monoterpene constituent of lavender essential oil.

Plant ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are a large family of membrane proteins involved in active and selective transport of structurally diverse compounds. In this study, we functionally evaluated LaABCB1, a multidrug resistance (MDR)-type ABC transporter strongly expressed in the secretory cells of lavender glandular trichomes, where monoterpene essential oil constituents are synthesized and secreted. We used LaABCB1 to complement a yeast knockout mutant in which 16 ABC transporters were deleted. Expression of LaABCB1 enhanced tolerance of yeast mutants to geraniol, a key constituent of essential oils in lavenders and numerous other plants. Our findings suggest a role for the MDR-type ABC transporters in the toxicity tolerance of at least certain essential oil constituents in lavender oil glands.

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This work was supported through grants or in-kind contributions by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, National Research Council Plant Biotechnology Institute through the NAPGEN program, Genome British Columbia, The University of British Columbia, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (RGPIN-2015-04858), and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to S.S.M. We are also grateful to Dr. Fritz Roth and Harvard University for providing the yeast strains for this study.

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Correspondence to Zerihun A. Demissie or Soheil S. Mahmoud.

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Demissie, Z.A., Tarnowycz, M., Adal, A.M. et al. A lavender ABC transporter confers resistance to monoterpene toxicity in yeast. Planta 249, 139–144 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-018-3064-x

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  • ATP-binding cassette
  • Lavandula
  • Multidrug resistance
  • Monoterpene trafficking
  • Transmembrane protein