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Other Publications (40)
- Integrative and Comparative Biology
- Journal of Experimental Botany
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- The Plant Cell
- Plant Physiology
- Journal of Chemical Ecology
- Plant Physiology
- Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
- Plant Physiology
- Applied Spectroscopy
- The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology
- The New Phytologist
- The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology
- The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology
- Plant Physiology
- Annals of Botany
- Annual Review of Plant Biology
- Plant Physiology
- The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology
- Plant Physiology
- Plant, Cell & Environment
- The Plant Cell
- The New Phytologist
- PLoS Genetics
- Journal of Experimental Botany
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Plant Physiology
- Journal of Experimental Botany
- The Plant Cell
- The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology
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Articles by Reinhard Jetter in JoVE
Het gebruik van Arabidopsis mutanten eceriferum naar Plant Nagelriem Biosynthese Explore
Lacey Samuels1, Allan DeBono1, Patricia Lam1, Miao Wen1, Reinhard Jetter1,2, Ljerka Kunst1
1Department of Botany, University of British Columbia - UBC, 2Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia - UBC
De plant cuticula is een wasachtige buitenste laag met planten die een primaire rol in het waterbeheer heeft, maar is ook een belangrijke barrière tegen het binnendringen van pathogene micro-organismen. In deze video, tonen we de analyse van de plant cuticula mutanten geïdentificeerd door vooruit en reverse genetics benaderingen.
Other articles by Reinhard Jetter on PubMed
Phytochemistry. Nov, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12409026
The cuticular wax of Taxus baccata L. needles was found to contain four different classes of long-chain esters that were identified by various chemical transformations with product assignment employing GC-MS. Homologous series of (1) 3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-propyl esters of C(20)-C(36) fatty acids, (2) 4-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butyl esters of C(18)-C(28) fatty acids, (3) 3-(3',4'-dihydroxyphenyl)-propyl esters of C(20)-C(32) fatty acids, and (4) 4-(3',4'-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-butyl esters of C(18)-C(28) fatty acids were identified. The four compound classes amounted to 0.1-3.6 micro g/cm(2) of needle surface area, corresponding to 0.2-7.6% of the wax mixture, respectively. While both phenylpropyl ester series had a maximum for the homolog containing tetracosanoic acid, in the phenylbutyl esters homologs containing eicosanoic and docosanoic acids predominated.
Integrative and Comparative Biology. Dec, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 21680392
Insects foraging on plant surfaces must attach to the layer of lipophilic materials known as epicuticular waxes (EW) that cover these surfaces. In this paper, we briefly review the evidence that variation in EW morphology can influence the ecology of herbivorous insects directly, by affecting their attachment to plant surfaces, and indirectly by affecting attachment by actively foraging predatory insects to plant surfaces. We then present new data examining how EW micromorphology and chemical composition of Brassica oleracea influence attachment by the predatory beetle, Hippodamia convergens (Coccinellidae). Bioassays with genotypes of B. oleracea differing in wax characteristics, and with EW extracts from these plants applied to glass, show that wax crystals disrupt attachment. In addition, bioassays show that attachment by H. convergens differs among EW extracts prepared to have smooth surfaces without crystals. The differences in attachment under these conditions are evidently due to the chemical composition of the waxes. Bioassays with two pure wax constituents show that wax composition can significantly affect attachment by H. convergens. The study opens the way for using a similar approach to understand attachment by insects to waxy plant surfaces.
Homologous Very-long-chain 1,3-alkanediols and 3-hydroxyaldehydes in Leaf Cuticular Waxes of Ricinus Communis L
Phytochemistry. Feb, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12620356
Surface extracts from primary leaves of Castor bean were found to contain 1.8 microg cm(-2) of cuticular waxes. The mixture comprised alkanes (C(26)-C(29)), primary alcohols (C(22)-C(38)), aldehydes (C(26) and C(28)), fatty acids (C(20)-C(34)) and triterpenoids (lupeol, beta- and alpha-amyrin). Besides, a series of n-alkane-1,3-diols was detected, with chain lengths ranging from C(22) to C(28), a strong predominance of even-numbered homologs, and a maximum for hexacosane-1,3-diol. Seven other compounds were assigned to a novel class of wax constituents and identified as homologous unbranched 3-hydroxyaldehydes ranging from C(22) to C(28). As the chain length distribution of this series closely paralleled the homolog pattern of 1,3-diols, it seems likely that both compound classes are biosynthetically related.
Slippery Surfaces of Carnivorous Plants: Composition of Epicuticular Wax Crystals in Nepenthes Alata Blanco Pitchers
Planta. Nov, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12883887
Plants in the genus Nepenthes obtain a substantial nutrient supply by trapping insects in highly modified leaves. A broad zone of the inner surface of these pitchers is densely covered with wax crystals on which most insects lose their footing. This slippery wax surface, capturing prey and preventing its escape from the trap, plays a pivotal role in the carnivorous syndrome. To understand the mechanism of slipperiness, the present investigation aimed at an ultrastructural and physico-chemical characterization of the wax crystals in pitchers of N. alata Blanco. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that entire platelets protruded perpendicularly from the surface. Methods were developed that allowed the mechanical removal of wax crystals from the pitcher surface. It could be shown that the sampling was selective for the epicuticular wax, relevant for plant-insect interactions. The crystals consisted of a mixture of aliphatic compounds dominated by very-long-chain aldehydes. Triacontanal, at 43% the most abundant constituent, was largely responsible for crystal formation. Solubility data indicate that the Nepenthes crystals contained polymeric forms of this aldehyde. The resulting mechanical properties of the polymer crystals and the mechanism of slipperiness are discussed.
Tomato Fruit Cuticular Waxes and Their Effects on Transpiration Barrier Properties: Functional Characterization of a Mutant Deficient in a Very-long-chain Fatty Acid Beta-ketoacyl-CoA Synthase
Journal of Experimental Botany. Jun, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15133057
Cuticular waxes play a pivotal role in limiting transpirational water loss across the plant surface. The correlation between the chemical composition of the cuticular waxes and their function as a transpiration barrier is still unclear. In the present study, intact tomato fruits (Lycopersicon esculentum) are used, due to their astomatous surface, as a novel integrative approach to investigate this composition- function relationship: wax amounts and compositions of tomato were manipulated before measuring unbiased cuticular transpiration. First, successive mechanical and extractive wax-removal steps allowed the selective modification of epi- and intracuticular wax layers. The epicuticular film consisted exclusively of very-long-chain aliphatics, while the intracuticular compartment contained large quantities of pentacyclic triterpenoids as well. Second, applying reverse genetic techniques, a loss-of-function mutation with a transposon insertion in a very-long-chain fatty acid elongase beta-ketoacyl-CoA synthase was isolated and characterized. Mutant leaf and fruit waxes were deficient in n-alkanes and aldehydes with chain lengths beyond C30, while shorter chains and branched hydrocarbons were not affected. The mutant fruit wax also showed a significant increase in intracuticular triterpenoids. Removal of the epicuticular wax layer, accounting for one-third of the total wax coverage on wild-type fruits, had only moderate effects on transpiration. By contrast, reduction of the intracuticular aliphatics in the mutant to approximately 50% caused a 4-fold increase in permeability. Hence, the main portion of the transpiration barrier is located in the intracuticular wax layer, largely determined by the aliphatic constituents, but modified by the presence of triterpenoids, whereas epicuticular aliphatics play a minor role.
Science (New York, N.Y.). Oct, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15499022
A waxy protective cuticle coats all primary aerial plant tissues. Its synthesis requires extensive export of lipids from epidermal cells to the plant surface. Arabidopsis cer5 mutants had reduced stem cuticular wax loads and accumulated sheetlike inclusions in the cytoplasm of wax-secreting cells. These inclusions represented abnormal deposits of cuticular wax and resembled inclusions found in a human disorder caused by a defective peroxisomal adenosine triphosphate binding cassette (ABC) transporter. We found that the CER5 gene encodes an ABC transporter localized in the plasma membrane of epidermal cells and conclude that it is required for wax export to the cuticle.
The SHINE Clade of AP2 Domain Transcription Factors Activates Wax Biosynthesis, Alters Cuticle Properties, and Confers Drought Tolerance when Overexpressed in Arabidopsis
The Plant Cell. Sep, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15319479
The interface between plants and the environment plays a dual role as a protective barrier as well as a medium for the exchange of gases, water, and nutrients. The primary aerial plant surfaces are covered by a cuticle, acting as the essential permeability barrier toward the atmosphere. It is a heterogeneous layer composed mainly of lipids, namely cutin and intracuticular wax with epicuticular waxes deposited on the surface. We identified an Arabidopsis thaliana activation tag gain-of-function mutant shine (shn) that displayed a brilliant, shiny green leaf surface with increased cuticular wax compared with the leaves of wild-type plants. The gene responsible for the phenotype encodes one member of a clade of three proteins of undisclosed function, belonging to the plant-specific family of AP2/EREBP transcription factors. Overexpression of all three SHN clade genes conferred a phenotype similar to that of the original shn mutant. Biochemically, such plants were altered in wax composition (very long fatty acid derivatives). Total cuticular wax levels were increased sixfold in shn compared with the wild type, mainly because of a ninefold increase in alkanes that comprised approximately half of the total waxes in the mutant. Chlorophyll leaching assays and fresh weight loss experiments indicated that overexpression of the SHN genes increased cuticle permeability, probably because of changes in its ultrastructure. Likewise, SHN gene overexpression altered leaf and petal epidermal cell structure, trichome number, and branching as well as the stomatal index. Interestingly, SHN overexpressors displayed significant drought tolerance and recovery, probably related to the reduced stomatal density. Expression analysis using promoter-beta-glucuronidase fusions of the SHN genes provides evidence for the role of the SHN clade in plant protective layers, such as those formed during abscission, dehiscence, wounding, tissue strengthening, and the cuticle. We propose that these diverse functions are mediated by regulating metabolism of lipid and/or cell wall components.
Plant Physiology. Sep, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16113231
In the cuticular wax mixtures from leaves of pea (Pisum sativum) cv Avanta, cv Lincoln, and cv Maiperle, more than 70 individual compounds were identified. The adaxial wax was characterized by very high amounts of primary alcohols (71%), while the abaxial wax consisted mainly of alkanes (73%). An aqueous adhesive of gum arabic was employed to selectively sample the epicuticular wax layer on pea leaves and hence to analyze the composition of epicuticular crystals exposed at the outermost surface of leaves. The epicuticular layer was found to contain 74% and 83% of the total wax on adaxial and abaxial surfaces, respectively. The platelet-shaped crystals on the adaxial leaf surface consisted of a mixture dominated by hexacosanol, accompanied by substantial amounts of octacosanol and hentriacontane. In contrast, the ribbon-shaped wax crystals on the abaxial surface consisted mainly of hentriacontane (63%), with approximately 5% each of hexacosanol and octacosanol being present. Based on this detailed chemical analysis of the wax exposed at the leaf surface, their importance for early events in the interaction with host-specific pathogenic fungi can now be evaluated. On adaxial surfaces, approximately 80% of Erysiphe pisi spores germinated and 70% differentiated appressoria. In contrast, significantly lower germination efficiencies (57%) and appressoria formation rates (49%) were found for abaxial surfaces. In conclusion, the influence of the physical structure and the chemical composition of the host surface, and especially of epicuticular leaf waxes, on the prepenetration processes of biotrophic fungi is discussed.
Surface Composition of Myrmecophilic Plants: Cuticular Wax and Glandular Trichomes on Leaves of Macaranga Tanarius
Journal of Chemical Ecology. Oct, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16195846
Primary plant surfaces, covered with cuticles consisting of cutin and waxes, are important substrates for interaction with insects. The composition of leaf surfaces of the myrmecophilic plant Macaranga tanarius was studied. The prenylated flavanone nymphaeol-C was identified in surface extracts and was localized exclusively in glandular trichomes on the abaxial leaf side. The epidermal pavement cells surrounding these trichomes were covered with a smooth film of epicuticular wax from which few small wax crystals protruded. The epicuticular wax amounted to approximately 8 microg cm(-2), corresponding to 85% of the wax load on the adaxial as well as the abaxial leaf sides. The epicuticular wax mixtures from both leaf surfaces contained more than 70% primary alcohols, 14% fatty acids, 2% aldehydes, and traces of alkyl acetates, with chain lengths ranging from C(20) to C(38). In contrast, the intracuticular wax layer was largely dominated by triterpenoid alcohols alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin, and lupeol. Consequently, these characteristic compounds are not available for direct contact with insects on the plant surface.
Plant Physiology. Dec, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16299169
All vascular plants are protected from the environment by a cuticle, a lipophilic layer synthesized by epidermal cells and composed of a cutin polymer matrix and waxes. The mechanism by which epidermal cells accumulate and assemble cuticle components in rapidly expanding organs is largely unknown. We have begun to address this question by analyzing the lipid compositional variance, the surface micromorphology, and the transcriptome of epidermal cells in elongating Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) stems. The rate of cell elongation is maximal near the apical meristem and decreases steeply toward the middle of the stem, where it is 10 times slower. During and after this elongation, the cuticular wax load and composition remain remarkably constant (32 microg/cm2), indicating that the biosynthetic flux into waxes is closely matched to surface area expansion. By contrast, the load of polyester monomers per unit surface area decreases more than 2-fold from the upper (8 microg/cm2) to the lower (3 microg/cm2) portion of the stem, although the compositional variance is minor. To aid identification of proteins involved in the biosynthesis of waxes and cutin, we have isolated epidermal peels from Arabidopsis stems and determined transcript profiles in both rapidly expanding and nonexpanding cells. This transcriptome analysis was validated by the correct classification of known epidermis-specific genes. The 15% transcripts preferentially expressed in the epidermis were enriched in genes encoding proteins predicted to be membrane associated and involved in lipid metabolism. An analysis of the lipid-related subset is presented.
Cloning and Characterization of a Lupeol Synthase Involved in the Synthesis of Epicuticular Wax Crystals on Stem and Hypocotyl Surfaces of Ricinus Communis
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Apr, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16445885
Pentacyclic triterpenoids are a large group of secondary metabolites found in many different plant species, either as glycoside conjugates or as aglycones. The latter in many cases accumulate to high amounts in the cuticular wax and hence at the surface of plant organs. In the present work, the cuticle-specific formation of triterpenoids was investigated in Ricinus communis stems, combining analytical and molecular genetic methods. Two phenotypes of castor bean could be distinguished based on the glaucous or glossy appearance of the surfaces of all stem portions including the hypocotyls, and were due to the presence or absence of thread-shaped epicuticular wax crystals, respectively. Comparative studies showed that these crystals are formed by the triperpenoid lupeol, present in high amounts on all stem surfaces. On the hypocotyl portion of stems, lupeol was found to accumulate rapidly during early development of the surface (10-15 days after emergence). Mature hypocotyls of glossy individuals were covered with 12.5 microg/cm2 of wax containing approximately 1% of lupeol, whereas the glaucous phenotype had a wax load of 51.9 microg/cm2 with 56% of lupeol. Two oxidosqualene cyclases from castor bean were cloned, functionally expressed in yeast, and characterized as a cycloartenol synthase (RcCAS) and a lupeol synthase (RcLUS). Phylogenetic analyses revealed that RcLUS is similar to two clades of known lupeol synthases, but also exhibits some similarities with beta-amyrin synthases. Both the organ-specific expression of RcLUS and the expression pattern during hypocotyl development exactly matched the accumulation of cuticular lupeol in castor bean. In contrast, RcCAS was constitutively expressed in all organs at various times. We conclude that the RcLUS enzyme is responsible for formation of the cuticular lupeol, and thus for the characteristic surface properties of R. communis stems.
Nanotubules on Plant Surfaces: Chemical Composition of Epicuticular Wax Crystals on Needles of Taxus Baccata L
Phytochemistry. Aug, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16497341
Needles of Taxus baccata L. were covered with tubular epicuticular wax crystals varying in diameters (100 and 250 nm) and lengths (300-500 and 500-1000 nm) on the abaxial and adaxial surfaces, respectively. Various sampling protocols were employed to study the chemical composition of the needle waxes on three different levels of spatial resolution. First, a dipping extraction of whole needles yielded the total cuticular wax mixture consisting of very long chain fatty acids (21%), alkanediols (19%), phenyl esters (15%), and secondary alcohols (9%) together with small amounts of aldehydes, primary alcohols, alkanes, alkyl esters, and tocopherols. Second, waxes from both sides of the needle were sampled separately by brushing with CHCl3-soaked fabric glass. Both sides showed very similar qualitative composition, but differed drastically in quantitative aspects, with nonacosan-10-ol (18%) and alkanediols (33%) dominating the abaxial and adaxial waxes, respectively. Third, the epi- and intracuticular wax layers were selectively sampled by a combination of mechanical wax removal and brushing extraction. This provided direct evidence that the tubular wax crystals contained high percentages of nonacosane-4,10-diol and nonacosane-5,10-diol on the abaxial surface, and nonacosan-10-ol on the adaxial surface of the needles. Together with these compounds, relatively large amounts of fatty acids and smaller percentages of aldehydes, primary alcohols, alkyl esters, and alkanes co-crystallized in the epicuticular layer. In comparison, the intracuticular wax consisted of higher portions of cyclic constituents and aliphatics with relatively high polarity. The formation of the tubular crystals is discussed as a spontaneous physico-chemical process, involving the establishment of gradients between the epi- and intracuticular wax layers and local phase separation.
CER4 Encodes an Alcohol-forming Fatty Acyl-coenzyme A Reductase Involved in Cuticular Wax Production in Arabidopsis
Plant Physiology. Nov, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16980563
A waxy cuticle that serves as a protective barrier against uncontrolled water loss and environmental damage coats the aerial surfaces of land plants. It is composed of a cutin polymer matrix and waxes. Cuticular waxes are complex mixtures of very-long-chain fatty acids and their derivatives. We report here the molecular cloning and characterization of CER4, a wax biosynthetic gene from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Arabidopsis cer4 mutants exhibit major decreases in stem primary alcohols and wax esters, and slightly elevated levels of aldehydes, alkanes, secondary alcohols, and ketones. This phenotype suggested that CER4 encoded an alcohol-forming fatty acyl-coenzyme A reductase (FAR). We identified eight FAR-like genes in Arabidopsis that are highly related to an alcohol-forming FAR expressed in seeds of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis). Molecular characterization of CER4 alleles and genomic complementation revealed that one of these eight genes, At4g33790, encoded the FAR required for cuticular wax production. Expression of CER4 cDNA in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) resulted in the accumulation of C24:0 and C26:0 primary alcohols. Fully functional green fluorescent protein-tagged CER4 protein was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum in yeast cells by confocal microscopy. Analysis of gene expression by reverse transcription-PCR indicated that CER4 was expressed in leaves, stems, flowers, siliques, and roots. Expression of a beta-glucuronidase reporter gene driven by the CER4 promoter in transgenic plants was detected in epidermal cells of leaves and stems, consistent with a dedicated role for CER4 in cuticular wax biosynthesis. CER4 was also expressed in all cell types in the elongation zone of young roots. These data indicate that CER4 is an alcohol-forming FAR that has specificity for very-long-chain fatty acids and is responsible for the synthesis of primary alcohols in the epidermal cells of aerial tissues and in roots.
Phytochemistry. Nov, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16997335
In cuticular waxes from leaves of Pisum sativum, 19 secondary alcohols, 10 primary/secondary alkanediols and three secondary/secondary alkanediols were identified by various chemical transformations with product assignment employing GC-MS. The homologous series of C29-C33 secondary alcohols (1.1 microg/cm2) was dominated by hentriacontanol isomers (94%). Only octacosanediols and trace amounts of hexacosanediols (< 1%) were detected in the primary/secondary alkanediol faction (0.7 microg/cm2). The secondary/secondary alkanediols (0.12 microg/cm2) contained a single homologue with chain length C31. All three compound classes showed characteristic isomer distributions with secondary functional groups predominantly located between C-14 and C-16. Based on the isomer compositions, the sequence of biosynthetic steps introducing the hydroxyl functions is discussed.
Chemical Composition of Epicuticular Wax Crystals on the Slippery Zone in Pitchers of Five Nepenthes Species and Hybrids
Planta. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17109149
Plants of the carnivorous genus Nepenthes efficiently trap insects in leaf pitchers, mostly employing epicuticular wax crystals on the pitcher walls to make them slippery for the prey. In the present study, the compositions and micromorphologies of the wax crystals of five Nepenthes species and hybrids were analysed in order to test whether the chemical principles underlying this ecological function are widespread within the genus. Three wax layers could be distinguished within the Nepenthes pitcher cuticles: (1) the outermost part of the crystals forming the platelets visible in standard scanning electron microscopy, (2) the bottom portion of the epicuticular wax crystals, and (3) an intracuticular wax layer. The composition of the intracuticular wax differed significantly from that of the neighbouring epicuticular layer. The compositions of corresponding wax mixtures from all five Nepenthes species and hybrids were very similar, with almost equal amounts of very long chain aldehydes and primary alcohols. While triacontanal (C(30) aldehyde) was prevailing in the epicuticular crystals of Nepenthes albomarginata and Nepenthes x intermedia, Nepenthes x superba and Nepenthes x henriana were found to have especially high percentages of dotriacontanal (C(32) aldehyde). Nepenthes "khasiana" had an intermediate aldehyde composition with almost equal amounts of both chain lengths.
Applied Spectroscopy. Jan, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17311714
The above-ground organs of plants are covered by a cuticle, an extracellular membrane performing important physiological and ecological functions, that consists of the fatty acid-derived polymer cutin and waxes. In the cuticular wax of many species, including the leaves of Prunus laurocerasus, triterpenoids are found at high concentrations. This paper investigates the potential of Raman microspectroscopy for the simultaneous detection of structurally similar triterpenoids in plant cuticles. Relative composition analysis was first performed on artificial triterpenoid mixtures consisting of alpha-amyrin and oleanolic acid, as well as oleanolic acid and ursolic acid, the two triterpenoids abundantly found in the cuticles of P. laurocerasus. The different triterpenoids could be distinguished in the mixture spectra and the resulting calculated triterpenoid ratios were consistent with the expected values. Qualitative analysis of the Raman spectra of P. laurocerasus cuticle demonstrated the in situ detectability of the triterpenoids using this approach. It is shown here that Raman microspectroscopy has the potential to provide useful information concerning the spatial distribution of some key chemical components of plant cuticles. This technique thus offers a valuable complement to the current standard analytical methods used for analyzing the bulk composition of plant cuticles.
Composition of Alkyl Esters in the Cuticular Wax on Inflorescence Stems of Arabidopsis Thaliana Cer Mutants
The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Apr, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17376164
Wax biosynthetic pathways proceed via the elongation of 16:0 acyl-CoA to very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA), and by further modifications that include reduction to primary alcohols and formation of alkyl esters. We have analyzed the alkyl esters in the stem wax of ten cer mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana together with the corresponding wild types. Alkyl esters with chain lengths between C(38) and C(52) were identified, and the levels of esters ranged from 0.15 microg cm(-2) in Wassilewskija (WS) to 1.20 microg cm(-2) in cer2. Esters with even numbers of carbons prevailed, with C(42), C(44) and C(46) favoured in the wild types, a predominance of C(42) in cer2 and cer6 mutants, and a relative shift towards C(46) in cer3 and cer23 mutants. The esters of all mutants and wild types were dominated by 16:0 acyl moieties, whereas the chain lengths of esterified alcohols were between C(20) and C(32). The alkyl chain-length distributions of the wild-type esters had a maximum for C(28) alcohol, similar to the free alcohols accompanying them in the wax mixtures. The esterified alcohols of cer2, cer6 and cer9 had largely increased levels of C(26) alcohol, closely matching the patterns of the corresponding free alcohols and, therefore, differing drastically from the corresponding wild type. In contrast, cer1, cer3, cer10, cer13 and cer22 showed ester alcohol patterns with increased levels of C(30), only partially following the shift in chain lengths of the free alcohols in stem wax. These results provide information on the composition of substrate pools and/or the specificity of the ester synthase involved in wax ester formation. We conclude that alcohol levels at the site of biosynthesis are mainly limiting the ester formation in the Arabidopsis wild-type epidermis.
Phytochemistry. Oct, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17651768
In the cuticular wax of Taxus baccata needles, homologous series of very-long-chain 1,5-alkanediols and 5-hydroxyaldehydes were identified by various chemical transformations with product assignment using GC-MS. The 1,5-alkanediols had chain lengths ranging from C(28) to C(38), with strong predominance of even carbon numbers and a maximum at C(32) (29%). The series of 5-hydroxyaldehydes comprised chain lengths C(24) and C(26)-C(36), and showed a pronounced prevalence of even-numbered homologues. 5-Hydroxyoctacosanal was the most abundant compound of the series (42%). The 5-hydroxyaldehydes together amounted to 0.4 microg/cm(2), corresponding to 1.2% of total wax of the needles. A polyketide-like biosynthetic pathway is proposed based on the (similar) chain length distributions and functional group patterns for both compound classes.
Chemical Composition of the Epicuticular and Intracuticular Wax Layers on the Adaxial Side of Ligustrum Vulgare Leaves
The New Phytologist. 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17696977
Previous research has shown that cuticular triterpenoids are exclusively found in the intracuticular wax layer of Prunus laurocerasus. To investigate whether this partitioning was species-specific, the intra- and epicuticular waxes were identified and quantified for the glossy leaves of Ligustrum vulgare, an unrelated shrub with similar wax morphology. Epicuticular wax was mechanically stripped from the adaxial leaf surface using the adhesive gum arabic. Subsequently, the organic solvent chloroform was used to extract the intracuticular wax from within the cutin matrix. The isolated waxes were quantified using gas chromatography with flame ionization detection and identified by mass spectrometry. The results were visually confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. The outer wax layer consisted entirely of homologous series of very-long-chain aliphatic compound classes. By contrast, the inner wax layer was dominated (80%) by two cyclic triterpenoids, ursolic and oleanolic acid. The accumulation of triterpenoids in the intracuticular leaf wax of a second, unrelated species suggests that this localization may be a more general phenomenon in smooth cuticles lacking epicuticular wax crystals. The mechanism and possible ecological or physiological reasons for this separation are currently being investigated.
Characterization of Arabidopsis ABCG11/WBC11, an ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) Transporter That is Required for Cuticular Lipid Secretion
The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Nov, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17727615
ABCG11/WBC11, an ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter from Arabidopsis thaliana, is a key component of the export pathway for cuticular lipids. Arabidopsis wbc11 T-DNA insertional knock-out mutants exhibited lipidic inclusions inside epidermal cells similar to the previously characterized wax transporter mutant cer5, with a similar strong reduction in the alkanes of surface waxes. Moreover, the wbc11 knock-out mutants also showed defects not present in cer5, including post-genital organ fusions, stunted growth and a reduction in cutin load on the plant surface. A mutant line previously isolated in a forward genetics screen, called permeable leaves 1 (pel1), was identified as an allele of ABCG11/WBC11. The double knock-out wbc11 cer5 exhibited the same morphological and biochemical phenotypes as the wbc11 knock-out. A YFP-WBC11 fusion protein rescued a T-DNA knock-out mutant and was localized to the plasma membrane. These results show that WBC11 functions in secretion of surface waxes, possibly by interacting with CER5. However, unlike ABCG12/CER5, ABCG11/WBC11 is important to the normal process of cutin formation.
The Identification of a Gene (Cwp1), Silenced During Solanum Evolution, Which Causes Cuticle Microfissuring and Dehydration when Expressed in Tomato Fruit
The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Nov, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17877702
One of the most intriguing phenomena of fleshy fruit is the ability to maintain high water content at maturity, even following harvest. This is accomplished by a fruit cuticle that is highly impermeable to water diffusion. In this paper, we report on a novel genotype of tomato, developed via introgression from the wild species Solanum habrochaites, which is characterized by microfissuring of the fruit cuticle and dehydration of the mature fruit. The microfissure/dehydration phenotype is inherited as a single gene, termed Cwp1 (cuticular water permeability). The gene was fine mapped, and its identity was determined by map-based cloning and differential expression analysis in near-isogenic lines. Causality of the Cwp1 gene was shown by the heterologous transgenic expression of the gene in the cultivated tomato, which caused a microfissured fruit cuticle leading to dehydrated fruit. Cwp1 encodes for a protein of unidentified function in the DUF833 domain family. The gene is expressed in the fruit epidermis of the dehydrating genotype harbouring the wild-species introgression, but not in the cultivated tomato. It is expressed only in the primitive green-fruited wild tomato species, but is not expressed in the cultivated Solanum lycopersicum and the closely related Solanum cheesmaniae and Solanum pimpinellifolium, indicating a pre-adaptive role for Cwp1 silencing in the evolution and domestication of the cultivated tomato.
The Cytochrome P450 Enzyme CYP96A15 is the Midchain Alkane Hydroxylase Responsible for Formation of Secondary Alcohols and Ketones in Stem Cuticular Wax of Arabidopsis
Plant Physiology. Nov, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17905869
Most aerial surfaces of plants are covered by cuticular wax that is synthesized in epidermal cells. The wax mixture on the inflorescence stems of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) is dominated by alkanes, secondary alcohols, and ketones, all thought to be formed sequentially in the decarbonylation pathway of wax biosynthesis. Here, we used a reverse-genetic approach to identify a cytochrome P450 enzyme (CYP96A15) involved in wax biosynthesis and characterized it as a midchain alkane hydroxylase (MAH1). Stem wax of T-DNA insertional mutant alleles was found to be devoid of secondary alcohols and ketones (mah1-1) or to contain much lower levels of these components (mah1-2 and mah1-3) than wild type. All mutant lines also had increased alkane amounts, partially or fully compensating for the loss of other compound classes. In spite of the chemical variation between mutant and wild-type waxes, there were no discernible differences in the epicuticular wax crystals on the stem surfaces. Mutant stem wax phenotypes could be partially rescued by expression of wild-type MAH1 under the control of the native promoter as well as the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter. Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S-driven overexpression of MAH1 led to ectopic accumulation of secondary alcohols and ketones in Arabidopsis leaf wax, where only traces of these compounds are found in the wild type. The newly formed leaf alcohols and ketones had midchain functional groups on or next to the central carbon, thus matching those compounds in wild-type stem wax. Taken together, mutant analyses and ectopic expression of MAH1 in leaves suggest that this enzyme can catalyze the hydroxylation reaction leading from alkanes to secondary alcohols and possibly also a second hydroxylation leading to the corresponding ketones. MAH1 expression was largely restricted to the expanding regions of the inflorescence stems, specifically to the epidermal pavement cells, but not in trichomes and guard cells. MAH1-green fluorescent protein fusion proteins localized to the endoplasmic reticulum, providing evidence that both intermediate and final products of the decarbonylation pathway are generated in this subcellular compartment and must subsequently be delivered to the plasma membrane for export toward the cuticle.
Chemical Composition of the Epicuticular and Intracuticular Wax Layers on Adaxial Sides of Rosa Canina Leaves
Annals of Botany. Dec, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17933845
The waxy cuticle is the first point of contact for many herbivorous and pathogenic organisms on rose plants. Previous studies have reported the average composition of the combined wax extract from both sides of rose leaves. Recently, the compositions of the waxes on the adaxial and abaxial surfaces of Rosa canina leaves were determined separately. In this paper, a first report is made on the compositions of the epicuticular and intracuticular wax layers of Rosa canina leaves. The methods described enable the determination of which compounds are truly available at the surface for plant-organism interactions.
In Situ Analysis by Microspectroscopy Reveals Triterpenoid Compositional Patterns Within Leaf Cuticles of Prunus Laurocerasus
Planta. Mar, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18000679
The cuticular waxes on the leaves of Prunus laurocerasus are arranged in distinct layers differing in triterpenoid concentrations (Jetter et al., Plant Cell Environ 23:619-628, 2000). In addition to this transversal gradient, the lateral distribution of cuticular triterpenoids must be investigated to fully describe the spatial distribution of wax components on the leaf surfaces. In the present investigation, near infrared (NIR) Raman microspectroscopy, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy, and third harmonic generation (THG) spectroscopy were employed to map the triterpenoid distribution in isolated cuticles from adaxial and abaxial sides of P. laurocerasus leaves. The relative concentrations of ursolic acid and oleanolic acid were calculated by treating the cuticle spectra as linear combinations of reference spectra from the major compounds found in the wax. Raman maps of the adaxial cuticle showed that the triterpenoids accumulate to relatively high concentrations over the periclinal regions of the pavement cells, while the very long chain aliphatic wax constituents are distributed fairly evenly across the entire adaxial cuticle. In the analysis of the abaxial cuticles, the triterpenoids were found to accumulate in greater amounts over the guard cells relative to the pavement cells. The very long chain aliphatic compounds accumulated in the cuticle above the anticlinal cell walls of the pavement cells, and were found at low concentrations above the periclinals and the guard cells.
Very Long Chain Alkylresorcinols Accumulate in the Intracuticular Wax of Rye (Secale Cereale L.) Leaves Near the Tissue Surface
Phytochemistry. Mar, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18234249
Alkylresorcinols (ARs) are bioactive compounds occurring in many members of the Poaceae, likely at or near the surface of various organs. Here, we investigated AR localization within the cuticular wax layers of rye (Secale cereale) leaves. The total wax mixture from both sides of the leaves was found to contain primary alcohols (71%), alkyl esters (11%), aldehydes (5%), and small amounts (<3%) of alkanes, steroids, secondary alcohols, fatty acids and unknowns. A homologous series of ARs (3%) was identified by GC-MS and comparison with a synthetic standard of nonadecylresorcinol. The alkyl side chains of the wax ARs contained odd numbers of carbons ranging from C19 to C27, with a prevalence of C21, C23 and C25. Waxes from both sides of the leaf, analyzed separately in a second experiment, comprised the same compound classes in similar relative amounts and with similar homolog patterns. Finally, the epicuticular and intracuticular wax layers were sampled separately from the abaxial side of the leaf. While ARs accounted for 2% of the intracuticular wax, they were not detectable in the epicuticular wax. The intracuticular wax was also slightly enriched in steroids, whereas the epicuticular layer contained more primary alcohols. All other wax constituents were distributed evenly between both wax layers.
Annual Review of Plant Biology. 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18251711
The vital importance of plant surface wax in protecting tissue from environmental stresses is reflected in the huge commitment of epidermal cells to cuticle formation. During cuticle deposition, a massive flux of lipids occurs from the sites of lipid synthesis in the plastid and the endoplasmic reticulum to the plant surface. Recent genetic studies in Arabidopsis have improved our understanding of fatty acid elongation and of the subsequent modification of the elongated products into primary alcohols, wax esters, secondary alcohols, and ketones, shedding light on the enzymes involved in these pathways. In contrast, the biosynthesis of alkanes is still poorly understood, as are the mechanisms of wax transport from the site of biosynthesis to the cuticle. Currently, nothing is known about wax trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane, or about translocation through the cell wall to the cuticle. However, a first breakthrough toward an understanding of wax export recently came with the discovery of ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters that are involved in releasing wax from the plasma membrane into the apoplast. An overview of our present knowledge of wax biosynthesis and transport and the regulation of these processes during cuticle assembly is presented, including the evidence for coordination of cutin polyester and wax production.
Plant Physiology. Jun, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18441227
The cuticle, covering the surface of all primary plant organs, plays important roles in plant development and protection against the biotic and abiotic environment. In contrast to vegetative organs, very little molecular information has been obtained regarding the surfaces of reproductive organs such as fleshy fruit. To broaden our knowledge related to fruit surface, comparative transcriptome and metabolome analyses were carried out on peel and flesh tissues during tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit development. Out of 574 peel-associated transcripts, 17% were classified as putatively belonging to metabolic pathways generating cuticular components, such as wax, cutin, and phenylpropanoids. Orthologs of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) SHINE2 and MIXTA-LIKE regulatory factors, activating cutin and wax biosynthesis and fruit epidermal cell differentiation, respectively, were also predominantly expressed in the peel. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry using a flame ionization detector identified 100 metabolites that are enriched in the peel tissue during development. These included flavonoids, glycoalkaloids, and amyrin-type pentacyclic triterpenoids as well as polar metabolites associated with cuticle and cell wall metabolism and protection against photooxidative stress. Combined results at both transcript and metabolite levels revealed that the formation of cuticular lipids precedes phenylpropanoid and flavonoid biosynthesis. Expression patterns of reporter genes driven by the upstream region of the wax-associated SlCER6 gene indicated progressive activity of this wax biosynthetic gene in both fruit exocarp and endocarp. Peel-associated genes identified in our study, together with comparative analysis of genes enriched in surface tissues of various other plant species, establish a springboard for future investigations of plant surface biology.
Plant Surface Lipid Biosynthetic Pathways and Their Utility for Metabolic Engineering of Waxes and Hydrocarbon Biofuels
The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. May, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18476871
Due to their unique physical properties, waxes are high-value materials that are used in a variety of industrial applications. They are generated by chemical synthesis, extracted from fossil sources, or harvested from a small number of plant and animal species. As a result, the diversity of chemical structures in commercial waxes is low and so are their yields. These limitations can be overcome by engineering of wax biosynthetic pathways in the seeds of high-yielding oil crops to produce designer waxes for specific industrial end uses. In this review, we first summarize the current knowledge regarding the genes and enzymes generating the chemical diversity of cuticular waxes that accumulate at the surfaces of primary plant organs. We then consider the potential of cuticle biosynthetic genes for biotechnological wax production, focusing on selected examples of wax ester chain lengths and isomers. Finally, we discuss the genes/enzymes of cuticular alkane biosynthesis and their potential in future metabolic engineering of plants for the production of renewable hydrocarbon fuels.
Identification of the Wax Ester Synthase/acyl-coenzyme A: Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase WSD1 Required for Stem Wax Ester Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis
Plant Physiology. Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18621978
Wax esters are neutral lipids composed of aliphatic alcohols and acids, with both moieties usually long-chain (C(16) and C(18)) or very-long-chain (C(20) and longer) carbon structures. They have diverse biological functions in bacteria, insects, mammals, and terrestrial plants and are also important substrates for a variety of industrial applications. In plants, wax esters are mostly found in the cuticles coating the primary shoot surfaces, but they also accumulate to high concentrations in the seed oils of a few plant species, including jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), a desert shrub that is the major commercial source of these compounds. Here, we report the identification and characterization of WSD1, a member of the bifunctional wax ester synthase/diacylglycerol acyltransferase gene family, which plays a key role in wax ester synthesis in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) stems, as first evidenced by severely reduced wax ester levels of in the stem wax of wsd1 mutants. In vitro assays using protein extracts from Escherichia coli expressing WSD1 showed that this enzyme has a high level of wax synthase activity and approximately 10-fold lower level of diacylglycerol acyltransferase activity. Expression of the WSD1 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae resulted in the accumulation of wax esters, but not triacylglycerol, indicating that WSD1 predominantly functions as a wax synthase. Analyses of WSD1 expression revealed that this gene is transcribed in flowers, top parts of stems, and leaves. Fully functional yellow fluorescent protein-tagged WSD1 protein was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum, demonstrating that biosynthesis of wax esters, the final products of the alcohol-forming pathway, occurs in this subcellular compartment.
Development of the Cuticular Wax During Growth of Kalanchoe Daigremontiana (Hamet Et Perr. De La Bathie) Leaves
Plant, Cell & Environment. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19021882
The goal of the present study was to monitor cuticular wax accumulation during leaf development of Kalanchoe daigremontiana. Leaves expanded linearly until they were 40-60 d old. Wax coverages of leaves on the third node increased steadily during initial leaf development, from 6.5 microg x cm(-2) on day 22 to 15.3 microg x cm(-2) on day 53, and then levelled off. Triterpenoids dominated the wax mixture throughout leaf development, but decreased from 74 to 40-45% in mature leaves, while very long-chain fatty acid (VLCFA) derivatives increased from 19 to 39-44%. The major VLCFA derivatives were alkanes, accompanied by fatty acids, primary alcohols, aldehydes and alkyl esters. In all compound classes, either C(34) or C(33) homologs predominated during leaf development. Eight different triterpenoids were identified, with glutinol constituting 70% of the fraction, and friedelin (20%) and germanicol (10%) as further major components of the young leaf wax. The glutinol percentage decreased, while the relative amounts of epifriedelanol and glutanol increased during development. Various leaf pairs upwards from the third node showed similar growth patterns and developmental time courses of cuticular wax amounts and composition. Based on these surface chemical analyses, the relative activities of biosynthetic pathways leading to various wax components can be assessed.
Arabidopsis LTPG is a Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored Lipid Transfer Protein Required for Export of Lipids to the Plant Surface
The Plant Cell. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19366900
Plant epidermal cells dedicate more than half of their lipid metabolism to the synthesis of cuticular lipids, which seal and protect the plant shoot. The cuticle is made up of a cutin polymer and waxes, diverse hydrophobic compounds including very-long-chain fatty acids and their derivatives. How such hydrophobic compounds are exported to the cuticle, especially through the hydrophilic plant cell wall, is not known. By performing a reverse genetic screen, we have identified LTPG, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored lipid transfer protein that is highly expressed in the epidermis during cuticle biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana inflorescence stems. Mutant plant lines with decreased LTPG expression had reduced wax load on the stem surface, showing that LTPG is involved either directly or indirectly in cuticular lipid deposition. In vitro 2-p-toluidinonaphthalene-6-sulfonate assays showed that recombinant LTPG has the capacity to bind to this lipid probe. LTPG was primarily localized to the plasma membrane on all faces of stem epidermal cells in the growing regions of inflorescence stems where wax is actively secreted. These data suggest that LTPG may function as a component of the cuticular lipid export machinery.
Composition of the Epicuticular and Intracuticular Wax Layers on Kalanchoe Daigremontiana (Hamet Et Perr. De La Bathie) Leaves
Phytochemistry. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19446855
Epicuticular and intracuticular waxes from both adaxial and abaxial surfaces of the leaves of Kalanchoe daigremontiana were analyzed. All wax mixtures were found to contain approximately equal amounts of triterpenoids and very long chain fatty acid (VLCFA) derivatives. The triterpenoid fraction consisted of glutinol (8-19% of the total wax) and friedelin (4-9%), together with smaller amounts of glutanol, glutinol acetate, epifriedelanol, germanicol and beta-amyrin. The VLCFA derivatives comprised C27-C35 alkanes (19-37% of the total wax), C32-C34 aldehydes (3-7%), C32 and C34 fatty acids (0.2-3%), C26-C36 primary alcohols (4-8%), and C42-C52 alkyl esters (2-9%). The wax layers were found to differ in triterpenoid amounts, with the intracuticular wax containing higher percentages of most triterpenoids than the epicuticular wax. Friedelin, the only triterpenoid ketone present, showed the opposite distribution with higher proportions in the epicuticular wax. VLCFA derivatives also accumulated to higher percentages in the epicuticular than in the intracuticular wax layer. Epicuticular wax crystals were observed on both the adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces.
Phylogenetic Ecology of Leaf Surface Traits in the Milkweeds (Asclepias Spp.): Chemistry, Ecophysiology, and Insect Behavior
The New Phytologist. Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19522840
The leaf surface is the contact point between plants and the environment and plays a crucial role in mediating biotic and abiotic interactions. Here, we took a phylogenetic approach to investigate the function, trade-offs, and evolution of leaf surface traits in the milkweeds (Asclepias). Across 47 species, we found trichome densities of up to 3000 trichomes cm(-2) and epicuticular wax crystals (glaucousness) on 10 species. Glaucous species had a characteristic wax composition dominated by very-long-chain aldehydes. The ancestor of the milkweeds was probably a glaucous species, from which there have been several independent origins of glabrous and pubescent types. Trichomes and wax crystals showed negatively correlated evolution, with both surface types showing an affinity for arid habitats. Pubescent and glaucous milkweeds had a higher maximum photosynthetic rate and lower stomatal density than glabrous species. Pubescent and glaucous leaf surfaces impeded settling behavior of monarch caterpillars and aphids compared with glabrous species, although surface types did not show consistent differentiation in secondary chemistry. We hypothesize that pubescence and glaucousness have evolved as alternative mechanisms with similar functions. The glaucous type, however, appears to be ancestral, lost repeatedly, and never regained; we propose that trichomes are a more evolutionarily titratable strategy.
Fruit-surface Flavonoid Accumulation in Tomato is Controlled by a SlMYB12-regulated Transcriptional Network
PLoS Genetics. Dec, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 20019811
The cuticle covering plants' aerial surfaces is a unique structure that plays a key role in organ development and protection against diverse stress conditions. A detailed analysis of the tomato colorless-peel y mutant was carried out in the framework of studying the outer surface of reproductive organs. The y mutant peel lacks the yellow flavonoid pigment naringenin chalcone, which has been suggested to influence the characteristics and function of the cuticular layer. Large-scale metabolic and transcript profiling revealed broad effects on both primary and secondary metabolism, related mostly to the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids, particularly flavonoids. These were not restricted to the fruit or to a specific stage of its development and indicated that the y mutant phenotype is due to a mutation in a regulatory gene. Indeed, expression analyses specified three R2R3-MYB-type transcription factors that were significantly down-regulated in the y mutant fruit peel. One of these, SlMYB12, was mapped to the genomic region on tomato chromosome 1 previously shown to harbor the y mutation. Identification of an additional mutant allele that co-segregates with the colorless-peel trait, specific down-regulation of SlMYB12 and rescue of the y phenotype by overexpression of SlMYB12 on the mutant background, confirmed that a lesion in this regulator underlies the y phenotype. Hence, this work provides novel insight to the study of fleshy fruit cuticular structure and paves the way for the elucidation of the regulatory network that controls flavonoid accumulation in tomato fruit cuticle.
Composition of Secondary Alcohols, Ketones, Alkanediols, and Ketols in Arabidopsis Thaliana Cuticular Waxes
Journal of Experimental Botany. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19346242
Arabidopsis wax components containing secondary functional groups were examined (i) to test the biosynthetic relationship between secondary alcohols and ketols and (ii) to determine the regiospecificity and substrate preference of the enzyme involved in ketol biosynthesis. The stem wax of Arabidopsis wild type contained homologous series of C(27) to C(31) secondary alcohols (2.4 microg cm(-2)) and C(28) to C(30) ketones (6.0 microg cm(-2)) dominated by C(29) homologues. In addition, compound classes containing two secondary functional groups were identified as C(29) diols (approximately 0.05 microg cm(-2)) and ketols (approximately 0.16 microg cm(-2)). All four compound classes showed characteristic isomer distributions, with functional groups located between C-14 and C-16. In the mah1 mutant stem wax, diols and ketols could not be detected, while the amounts of secondary alcohols and ketones were drastically reduced. In two MAH1-overexpressing lines, equal amounts of C(29) and C(31) secondary alcohols were detected. Based on the comparison of homologue and isomer compositions between the different genotypes, it can be concluded that biosynthetic pathways lead from alkanes to secondary alcohols, and via ketones or diols to ketols. It seems plausible that MAH1 is the hydroxylase enzyme involved in all these conversions in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Cloning and Characterization of Oxidosqualene Cyclases from Kalanchoe Daigremontiana: Enzymes Catalyzing Up to 10 Rearrangement Steps Yielding Friedelin and Other Triterpenoids
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Sep, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20610397
The first committed step in triterpenoid biosynthesis is the cyclization of oxidosqualene to polycyclic alcohols or ketones C(30)H(50)O. It is catalyzed by single oxidosqualene cyclase (OSC) enzymes that can carry out varying numbers of carbocation rearrangements and, thus, generate triterpenoids with diverse carbon skeletons. OSCs from diverse plant species have been cloned and characterized, the large majority of them catalyzing relatively few rearrangement steps. It was recently predicted that special OSCs must exist that can form friedelin, the pentacyclic triterpenoid whose formation involves the maximum possible number of rearrangement steps. The goal of the present study, therefore, was to clone a friedelin synthase from Kalanchoe daigremontiana, a plant species known to accumulate this triterpenoid in its leaf surface waxes. Five OSC cDNAs were isolated, encoding proteins with 761-779 amino acids and sharing between 57.4 and 94.3% nucleotide sequence identity. Heterologous expression in yeast and GC-MS analyses showed that one of the OSCs generated the steroid cycloartenol together with minor side products, whereas the other four enzymes produced mixtures of pentacyclic triterpenoids dominated by lupeol (93%), taraxerol (60%), glutinol (66%), and friedelin (71%), respectively. The cycloartenol synthase was found expressed in all leaf tissues, whereas the lupeol, taraxerol, glutinol, and friedelin synthases were expressed only in the epidermis layers lining the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade. It is concluded that the function of these enzymes is to form respective triterpenoid aglycones destined to coat the leaf exterior, probably as defense compounds against pathogens or herbivores.
Plant Physiology. Jan, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21059824
The first committed step in triterpenoid biosynthesis is the cyclization of epoxysqualene into various triterpene alcohol isomers, a reaction catalyzed by oxidosqualene cyclases (OSCs). The different OSCs have characteristic product specificities, which are mainly due to differences in the numbers of high-energy intermediates the enzymes can stabilize. The goal of this investigation was to clone and characterize OSCs from tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), a species known to accumulate δ-amyrin in its fruit cuticular wax, in order to gain insights into the enzymatic formation of this particular triterpenoid. We used a homology-based approach to isolate two tomato OSCs and tested their biochemical properties by heterologous expression in yeast as well as overexpression in tomato. One of the enzymes was found to be a product-specific β-amyrin synthase, while the other one was a multifunctional OSC synthesizing 48% δ-amyrin and six other products. The product spectra of both OSCs together account for both the range and the relative amounts of the triterpenoids found in the fruit cuticle. Both enzymes were expressed exclusively in the epidermis of the tomato fruit, indicating that their major function is to form the cuticular triterpenoids. The relative expression levels of both OSC genes, determined by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, were consistent with product profiles in fruit and leaves of the tomato cultivar MicroTom. However, the transcript ratios were only partially consistent with the differences in amounts of product triterpenoids between the tomato cultivars MicroTom, M82, and Ailsa Craig; thus, transcriptional control of the two OSCs alone cannot explain the fruit triterpenoid profiles of the cultivars.
Composition Differences Between Epicuticular and Intracuticular Wax Substructures: How Do Plants Seal Their Epidermal Surfaces?
Journal of Experimental Botany. Jan, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21193581
The protective wax coating on plant surfaces has long been considered to be non-uniform in composition at a subcellular scale. In recent years, direct evidence has started to accumulate showing quantitative compositional differences between the epicuticular wax (i.e. wax exterior to cutin that can be mechanically peeled off) and intracuticular wax (i.e. wax residing within the mechanically resistant layer of cutin) layers in particular. This review provides a first synthesis of the results acquired for all the species investigated to date in order to assign chemical information directly to cuticle substructures, together with an overview of the methods used and a discussion of possible mechanisms and biological functions. The development of methods to probe the wax for z-direction heterogeneity began with differential solvent extractions. Further research employing mechanical wax removal by adhesives permitted the separation and analysis of the epicuticular and intracuticular wax. In wild-type plants, the intracuticular (1-30 μg cm(-2)) plus the epicuticular wax (5-30 μg cm(-2)) combined to a total of 8-40 μg cm(-2). Cyclic wax constituents, such as triterpenoids and alkylresorcinols, preferentially or entirely accumulate within the intracuticular layer. Within the very-long-chain aliphatic wax components, primary alcohols tend to accumulate to higher percentages in the intracuticular wax layer, while free fatty acids and alkanes in many cases accumulate in the epicuticular layer. Compounds with different chain lengths are typically distributed evenly between the layers. The mechanism causing the fractionation remains to be elucidated but it seems plausible that it involves, at least in part, spontaneous partitioning due to the physico-chemical properties of the wax compounds and interactions with the intracuticular polymers. The arrangement of compounds probably directly influences cuticular functions.
A Member of the PLEIOTROPIC DRUG RESISTANCE Family of ATP Binding Cassette Transporters is Required for the Formation of a Functional Cuticle in Arabidopsis
The Plant Cell. May, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21628525
Although the multilayered structure of the plant cuticle was discovered many years ago, the molecular basis of its formation and the functional relevance of the layers are not understood. Here, we present the permeable cuticle1 (pec1) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, which displays features associated with a highly permeable cuticle in several organs. In pec1 flowers, typical cutin monomers, such as ω-hydroxylated fatty acids and 10,16-dihydroxypalmitate, are reduced to 40% of wild-type levels and are accompanied by the appearance of lipidic inclusions within the epidermal cell. The cuticular layer of the cell wall, rather than the cuticle proper, is structurally altered in pec1 petals. Therefore, a significant role for the formation of the diffusion barrier in petals can be attributed to this layer. Thus, pec1 defines a new class of mutants. The phenotypes of the pec1 mutant are caused by the knockout of ATP BINDING CASSETTEG32 (ABCG32), an ABC transporter from the PLEIOTROPIC DRUG RESISTANCE family that is localized at the plasma membrane of epidermal cells in a polar manner toward the surface of the organs. Our results suggest that ABCG32 is involved in the formation of the cuticular layer of the cell wall, most likely by exporting particular cutin precursors from the epidermal cell.
The Fruit Cuticles of Wild Tomato Species Exhibit Architectural and Chemical Diversity, Providing a New Model for Studying the Evolution of Cuticle Function
The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22007785
The cuticle covers the aerial epidermis of land plants and plays a primary role in water regulation and protection from external stresses. Remarkable species diversity in the structure and composition of its components, cutin and wax, have been catalogued, but few functional or genetic correlations have emerged. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is part of a complex of closely related wild species endemic to the northern Andes and the Galapagos Islands (Solanum Sect. Lycopersicon). Although sharing an ancestor <7 million years ago, these species are found in diverse environments and are subject to unique selective pressures. Furthermore, they are genetically tractable, since they can be crossed with S. lycopersicum, which has a sequenced genome. With the aim of evaluating the relationships between evolution, structure and function of the cuticle, we characterized the morphological and chemical diversity of fruit cuticles of seven species from Solanum Sect. Lycopersicon. Striking differences in cuticular architecture and quantities of cutin and waxes were observed, with the wax coverage of wild species exceeding that of S. lycopersicum by up to seven fold. Wax composition varied in the occurrence of wax esters and triterpenoid isomers. Using a Solanum habrochaites introgression line population, we mapped triterpenoid differences to a genomic region that includes two S. lycopersicum triterpene synthases. Based on known metabolic pathways for acyl wax compounds, hypotheses are discussed to explain the appearance of wax esters with atypical chain lengths. These results establish a model system for understanding the ecological and evolutionary functional genomics of plant cuticles.