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Plant J. 2000 Oct;24(2):241-52.

Molecular cloning of geranyl diphosphate synthase and compartmentation of monoterpene synthesis in plant cells.

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Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Université Louis Pasteur, 12 rue du Général Zimmer, 67084 Strasbourg, France.


The nature of isoprenoids synthesized in plants is primarily determined by the specificity of prenyltransferases. Several of these enzymes have been characterized at the molecular level. The compartmentation and molecular regulation of geranyl diphosphate (GPP), the carbon skeleton that is the backbone of myriad monoterpene constituents involved in plant defence, allelopathic interactions and pollination, is poorly understood. We describe here the cloning and functional expression of a GPP synthase (GPPS) from Arabidopsis thaliana. Immunohistological analyses of diverse non-secretory and secretory plant tissues reveal that GPPS and its congeners, monoterpene synthase, deoxy-xylulose phosphate synthase and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase, are equally compartmentalized and distributed in non-green plastids as well in chloroplasts of photosynthetic cells. This argues that monoterpene synthesis is not solely restricted to specialized secretory structures but can also occur in photosynthetic parenchyma. These data provide new information as to how monoterpene biosynthesis is compartmentalized and induced de novo in response to biotic and abiotic stress in diverse plants.

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