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Plant J. 2008 May;54(3):349-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03429.x. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

A systems biology investigation of the MEP/terpenoid and shikimate/phenylpropanoid pathways points to multiple levels of metabolic control in sweet basil glandular trichomes.

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1
Department of Plant Sciences and BIO5 Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.

Abstract

The glandular trichome is an excellent model system for investigating plant metabolic processes and their regulation within a single cell type. We utilized a proteomics-based approach with isolated trichomes of four different sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) lines possessing very different metabolite profiles to clarify the regulation of metabolism in this single cell type. Significant differences in the distribution and accumulation of the 881 highly abundant and non-redundant protein entries demonstrated that although the proteomes of the glandular trichomes of the four basil lines shared many similarities they were also each quite distinct. Correspondence between proteomic, expressed sequence tag, and metabolic profiling data demonstrated that differential gene expression at major metabolic branch points appears to be responsible for controlling the overall production of phenylpropanoid versus terpenoid constituents in the glandular trichomes of the different basil lines. In contrast, post-transcriptional and post-translational regulation of some enzymes appears to contribute significantly to the chemical diversity observed within compound classes for the different basil lines. Differential phosphorylation of enzymes in the 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP)/terpenoid and shikimate/phenylpropanoid pathways appears to play an important role in regulating metabolism in this single cell type. Additionally, precursors for different classes of terpenoids, including mono- and sesquiterpenoids, appear to be almost exclusively supplied by the MEP pathway, and not the mevalonate pathway, in basil glandular trichomes.

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