Nicotiana tabacum Togt encodes a scopoletin glucosyltransferase (UDPglucose:scopoletin O-β-D-glucosyltransferase, EC 126.96.36.199) known to act in vitro on many different substrates including the 6-methoxy-7-hydroxy- coumarin scopoletin. This phenolic compound accumulates in vast amounts, essentially in its glucosylated form scopolin, in tobacco during the hypersensitive response (HR) to tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). To identify the physiological role of this pathogen-inducible UDP-Glc glucosyltransferase (UGT), we generated TOGT over-expressing transgenic plants. Although no endogenous scopoletin or scopolin could be detected before infection, the accumulation of both the aglycone and the glucoside was found to be 2-fold higher in transgenic plants after inoculation with TMV than in wild-type plants. Scopoletin UGT activity in plants over-expressing Togt was significantly higher during the HR than in control plants. This up-regulated activity was associated with a strong increase of the bright blue fluorescence surrounding the HR-necrotic lesions under UV light, which is known to correlate with scopoletin and scopolin abundance. Necrosis appeared sooner in transgenic plants and lesions developed faster, suggesting an accelerated HR. Unexpectedly, the viral content in each lesion was not significantly different in transgenic and in wild-type plants. These results are discussed in relation to the role of TOGT as the major UDP-Glc: scopoletin glucosyltransferase and to the importance of scopoletin accumulation during the HR.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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