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Planta. 2000 Jun;211(1):163-5.

Transgenic Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana plants overexpressing allene oxide synthase.

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Lehrstuhl für Pflanzenphysiologie, Ruhr-Universität, Bochum, Germany.


Allene oxide synthase (AOS), encoded by a single gene in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh., catalyzes the first step specific to the octadecanoid pathway. Enzyme activity is very low in control plants, but is upregulated by wounding, octadecanoids, ethylene, salicylate and coronatine (D. Laudert and E.W. Weiler, 1998, Plant J 15: 675-684). In order to study the consequences of constitutive expression of AOS on the level of jasmonates, a complete cDNA encoding the enzyme from A. thaliana was constitutively expressed in both A. thaliana and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Overexpression of AOS did not alter the basal level of jasmonic acid; thus, output of the jasmonate pathway in the unchallenged plant appears to be strictly limited by substrate availability. In wounded plants overexpressing AOS, peak jasmonate levels were 2- to 3-fold higher compared to untransformed plants. More importantly, the transgenic plants reached the maximum jasmonate levels significantly earlier than wounded untransformed control plants. These findings suggest that overexpression of AOS might be a way of controlling defense dynamics in higher plants.

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