Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) plants emit a blend of volatile organic compounds, which mainly consists of terpenes. Upon herbivory or wounding, the emission of several terpenes increases. We have identified and characterized the first two tomato monoterpene synthases, LeMTS1 and LeMTS2. Although these proteins were highly homologous, recombinant LeMTS1 protein produced (R)-linalool from geranyl diphosphate (GPP) and (E)-nerolidol from farnesyl diphosphate (FPP), while recombinant LeMTS2 produced β-phellandrene, β-myrcene, and sabinene from GPP. In addition, these genes were expressed in different tissues: LeMTS1 was expressed in flowers, young leaves, stems, and petioles, while LeMTS2 was strongest expressed in stems and roots. LeMTS1 expression in leaves was induced by spider mite-infestation, wounding and jasmonic acid (JA)-treatment, while LeMTS2 did not respond to these stimuli. The expression of LeMTS1 in stems and petioles was predominantly detected in trichomes and could be induced by JA. Because JA treatment strongly induced emission of linalool and overexpression of LeMTS1 in tomato resulted in increased production of linalool, we propose that LeMTS1 is a genuine linalool synthase. Our results underline the importance of trichomes in JA-induced terpene emission in tomato.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 12, 2007
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