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Plant Physiol. 1996 Jun;111(2):619-26.

Developmental and stress regulation of gene expression for plastid and cytosolic isoprenoid pathways in pepper fruits.

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  • 1Institut de Biologie Mol√©culaire des Plantes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Universit√© Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.


Plant cells synthesize a myriad of isoprenoid compounds in different subcellular compartments, which include the plastid, the mitochondria, and the endoplasmic reticulum cytosol. To start the study of the regulation of these parallel pathways, we used pepper (Capsicum annuum) fruit as a model. Using different isoprenoid biosynthetic gene probes from cloned cDNAs, we showed that only genes encoding the plastid enzymes (geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase, phytoene synthase, phytoene desaturase, and capasanthin-capsorubin synthase) are specifically triggered during the normal period of development, at the ripening stage. This pattern of expression can be mimicked and precociously induced by a simple wounding stress. Concerning the cytosol-located enzymes, we observed that the expression of the gene encoding farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase is constitutive, whereas that of farnesyl pyrophosphate cyclase (5-epi-aristolochene synthase) is undetectable during the normal development of the fruit. The expression of these later genes are, however, only selectively triggered after elicitor treatment. The results provide evidence for developmental control of isoprenoid biosynthesis occurring in plastids and that cytoplasmic isoprenoid biosynthesis is regulated, in part, by environmental signals.

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