Flowers and leaves of Lotus japonicus contain α-, β-, and γ-hydroxynitrile glucoside (HNG) defense compounds, which are bioactivated by β-glucosidase enzymes (BGDs). The α-HNGs are referred to as cyanogenic glucosides because their hydrolysis upon tissue disruption leads to release of toxic hydrogen cyanide gas, which can deter herbivore feeding. BGD2 and BGD4 are HNG metabolizing BGD enzymes expressed in leaves. Only BGD2 is able to hydrolyse the α-HNGs. Loss of function mutants of BGD2 are acyanogenic in leaves but fully retain cyanogenesis in flowers pointing to the existence of an alternative cyanogenic BGD in flowers. This enzyme, named BGD3, is identified and characterized in this study. Whereas all floral tissues contain α-HNGs, only those tissues in which BGD3 is expressed, the keel and the enclosed reproductive organs, are cyanogenic. Biochemical analysis, active site architecture molecular modelling, and the observation that L. japonicus accessions lacking cyanogenic flowers contain a non-functional BGD3 gene, all support the key role of BGD3 in floral cyanogenesis. The nectar of L. japonicus flowers was also found to contain HNGs and additionally their diglycosides. The observed specialisation in HNG based defence in L. japonicus flowers is discussed in the context of balancing the attraction of pollinators with the protection of reproductive structures against herbivores.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 7, 2015
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud