Activities of enzymes catalyzing benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis in Annona diversifolia saff. during early development
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In species of the Annonaceae family, particularly Annona diversifolia Safford, benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIA) are secondary metabolites that appear to contribute to the phytopathogen defense mechanisms of plants. Polyphenol oxidase (PPO, EC 188.8.131.52), amine oxidase (AO, EC 184.108.40.206), tyrosine decarboxylase (TYDC, EC 220.127.116.11), and norcoclaurine synthase (NCS, EC 18.104.22.168) catalyze the initial steps in BIA biosynthesis. This study reports the activity of these enzymes in different plant organs at four stages of the early development of A. diversifolia seedlings: seeds imbibed for 5 days, seeds after 3 days of germination, seedlings with leaf primordia, and seedlings with two true leaves. Evaluations were performed according to specific protocols for each of the enzymes. All four enzymes were active in the developing embryos during imbibition and germination, but no activity was detected in the endosperm. In seedlings with leaf primordia and seedlings with two true leaves (25 and 30 days after the start of imbibition, respectively), the activities of three enzymes (TYDC, PPO, and AO) were observed in all of the tissues, while NCS activity was only observed in the stems and roots. The activities of these enzymes in embryos provides evidence that alkaloid biosynthesis at early developmental stages is related to embryo growth and development. This study is the first report that has described some aspects of alkaloid biosynthesis in Annonaceae.
KeywordsAnnona diversifolia Annonaceae early biosynthesis secondary metabolism seed germination seedling development
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