Dynamic evolution of herbivore-induced sesquiterpene biosynthesis in sorghum and related grass crops

Xiaofeng Zhuang, Tobias G Köllner, Nan Zhao, Guanglin Li, Yifan Jiang, Liucun Zhu, Jianxin Ma, Jörg Degenhardt, Feng Chen
Plant Journal 2012, 69 (1): 70-80
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) plants damaged by insects emit a blend of volatiles, predominantly sesquiterpenes, that are implicated in attracting natural enemies of the attacking insects. To characterize sesquiterpene biosynthesis in sorghum, seven terpene synthase (TPS) genes, SbTPS1 through SbTPS7, were identified based on their evolutionary relatedness to known sesquiterpene synthase genes from maize and rice. While SbTPS6 and SbTPS7 encode truncated proteins, all other TPS genes were determined to encode functional sesquiterpene synthases. Both SbTPS1 and SbTPS2 produced the major products zingiberene, β-bisabolene and β-sesquiphellandrene, but with opposite ratios of zingiberene to β-sesquiphellandrene. SbTPS3 produced (E)-α-bergamotene and (E)-β-farnesene. SbTPS4 formed (E)-β-caryophyllene as the major product. SbTPS5 produced mostly (E)-α-bergamotene and (Z)-γ-bisabolene. Based on the genome sequences of sorghum, maize and rice and the sesquiterpene synthase genes they contain, collinearity analysis identified the orthologs of sorghum sesquiterpene synthase genes, except for SbTPS4, in maize and rice. Phylogenetic analysis implied that SbTPS1, SbTPS2 and SbTPS3, which exist as tandem repeats, evolved as a consequence of local gene duplication in a lineage-specific manner. Structural modeling and site-directed mutagenesis experiments revealed that three amino acids in the active site play critical roles in defining product specificity of SbTPS1, SbTPS2, SbTPS3 and their orthologs in maize and rice. The naturally occurring functional variations of sesquiterpene synthases within and between species suggest that multiple mechanisms, including lineage-specific gene duplication, subfunctionalization, neofunctionalization and pseudogenization of duplicated genes, have all played a role in the dynamic evolution of insect-induced sesquiterpene biosynthesis in grasses.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"