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Plant Cell Physiol. 2000 Aug;41(8):982-7.

Induction of chalcone synthase expression in white spruce by wounding and jasmonate.

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Centre de recherche en biologieforestière, Pavilion C.E.Marchand, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada.


The phenylpropanoid pathway has important functions in angiospermous plants following exposure to environmental stresses, such as wounding and pathogen attack, that lead to production of compounds including lignin, flavonoids and phytoalexins. Chalcone synthase (CHS) is a key enzyme in this pathway, catalyzing the first step in flavonoid biosynthesis, whose expression can be induced in response to environmental stress. To explore the response of conifers to environmental stress, expression of spruce CHS and its inducibility were investigated. A partial spruce CHS cDNA clone was isolated using PCR. Examination of the expression patterns of the CHS gene family in white spruce revealed accumulation of CHS mRNA in needle tissue following mechanical wounding, or application of signal molecules like jasmonic acid or methyl jasmonate. Repeated mechanical wounding or jasmonate applications had an enhancing effect on transcript accumulation in needles. A systemic accumulation of CHS mRNAs following wounding was also observed. Conifers thus appear to possess a general wound response similar to that found for angiosperms, which includes CHS induction as well as its inducibility by jasmonic acid and airborne methyl jasmonate.

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