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Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Enhancement of production of eugenol and its glycosides in transgenic aspen plants via genetic engineering.


PMID 23707945

Abstract

Eugenol, a volatile phenylpropene found in many plant species, exhibits antibacterial and acaricidal activities. This study attempted to modify the production of eugenol and its glycosides by introducing petunia coniferyl alcohol acetyltransferase (PhCFAT) and eugenol synthase (PhEGS) into hybrid aspen. Gas chromatography analyses revealed that wild-type hybrid aspen produced small amount of eugenol in leaves. The heterologous overexpression of PhCFAT alone resulted in up to 7-fold higher eugenol levels and up to 22-fold eugenol glycoside levels in leaves of transgenic aspen plants. The overexpression of PhEGS alone resulted in a subtle increase in either eugenol or eugenol glycosides, and the overexpression of both PhCFAT and PhEGS resulted in significant increases in the levels of both eugenol and eugenol glycosides which were nonetheless lower than the increases seen with overexpression of PhCFAT alone. On the other hand, overexpression of PhCFAT in transgenic Arabidopsis and tobacco did not cause any synthesis of eugenol. These results indicate that aspen leaves, but not Arabidopsis and tobacco leaves, have a partially active pathway to eugenol that is limited by the level of CFAT activity and thus the flux of this pathway can be increased by the introduction of a single heterologous gene.

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