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Phytochemistry. 2006 Aug;67(15):1661-72. Epub 2006 Mar 31.

Dynamic pathway allocation in early terpenoid biosynthesis of stress-induced lima bean leaves.

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Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Beutenbergcampus, Hans-Knöll-Strasse 8, D-07745 Jena, Germany.

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  • Phytochemistry. 2006 Nov;67(22):2512.


Two independent pathways contribute in higher plants to the formation of isopenteny1 diphosphate (IDP), the central building block of isoprenoids. In general, the cytosolic mevalonate pathway (MVA) provides the precursors for sesquiterpenes and sterols, whereas the plastidial methylerythritol pathway (MEP) furnishes the monoterpene-, diterpene- and carotenoids. Administration of deuterium labeled 1-deoxy-d-xylulose and mevalolactone to lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus), followed by gas chromatographic separation and mass spectrometric analysis of de novo produced volatiles revealed that the strict separation of both pathways does not exist. This could be confirmed by blocking the pathways individually with cerivastatin((R)) (MVA) and fosmidomycin (MEP), respectively. Isotopic ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) at natural abundance levels demonstrated independently and without the need for labeled precursors a dynamic allocation of the MVA- or the MEP-pathway in the biosynthesis of the nerolidol-derived homoterpene 4,8-dimethy1-nona-1,3,7-triene (DMNT). Insect-feeding upregulated predominantly the MVA-pathway, while the fungal elicitor alamethicin stimulated the biosynthesis of DMNT via the MEP-pathway.

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