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Z Naturforsch C J Biosci. 2009 Mar-Apr;64(3-4):251-9.

Geranyl acetate esterase controls and regulates the level of geraniol in lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus Nees ex Steud.) mutant cv. GRL-1 leaves.

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Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Kukrail Picnic Spot Road, P.O. CIMAP, Lucknow-226 105, U.P., India.


Essential oil isolated from lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) mutant cv. GRL-1 leaves is mainly composed of geraniol (G) and geranyl acetate (GA). The proportion of G and GA markedly fluctuates during leaf development. The proportions of GA and G in the essential oil recorded at day 10 after leaf emergence were approximately 59% and approximately 33% respectively. However, the level of GA went down from approximately 59 to approximately 3% whereas the level of G rose from approximately 33 to approximately 91% during the leaf growth period from day 10 to day 50. However, the decline in the level of GA was most pronounced in the early (day 10 to day 30) stage of leaf growth. The trend of changes in the proportion of GA and G has clearly indicated the role of an esterase that must be involved in the conversion of GA to G during leaf development. We isolated an esterase from leaves of different ages that converts GA into G and has been given the name geranyl acetate esterase (GAE). The GAE activity markedly varied during the leaf development cycle; it was closely correlated with the monoterpene (GA and G) composition throughout leaf development. GAE appeared as several isoenzymes but only three (GAE-I, GAE-II, and GAE-III) of them had significant GA cleaving activity. The GAE isoenzymes pattern was greatly influenced by the leaf developmental stages and so their GA cleaving activities. Like the GAE activity, GAE isoenzyme patterns were also found to be consistent with the monoterpene (GA and G) composition. GAE had an optimum pH at 8.5 and temperature at 30 degrees C. Besides GAE, a compound with phosphatase activity capable of hydrolyzing geranyl diphosphate (GPP) to produce geraniol has also been isolated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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