Comparative analysis of benzoxazinoid biosynthesis in monocots and dicots: Independent recruitment of Stabilization and activation functions

Regina Dick, Thomas Rattei, Martin Haslbeck, Wilfried Schwab, Alfons Gierl, Monika Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Benzoxazinoids represent preformed protective and allelophatic compounds that are found in a multitude of species of the family Poaceae (Gramineae) and occur sporadically in single species of phylogenetically unrelated dicots. Stabilization by glucosylation and activation by hydrolysis is essential for the function of these plant defense compounds. We isolated and functionally characterized from the dicot larkspur (Consolida orientalis) the benzoxazinoid-specific UDP-glucosyltransferase and β-glucosidase that catalyze the enzymatic functions required to avoid autotoxicity and allow activation upon challenge by herbivore and pathogen attack. A phylogenetic comparison of these enzymes with their counterparts in the grasses indicates convergent evolution by repeated recruitment from homologous but not orthologous genes. The data reveal a great evolutionary flexibility in recruitment of these essential functions of secondary plant metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-928
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Cell
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

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