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Planta. 2010 Jun;232(1):1-17. doi: 10.1007/s00425-010-1156-3. Epub 2010 Apr 16.

Apocarotenoids: hormones, mycorrhizal metabolites and aroma volatiles.

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Abteilung Sekundärstoffwechsel, Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie, Halle (Saale), Germany.


Apocarotenoids are tailored from carotenoids by oxidative enzymes [carotenoid cleavage oxygenases (CCOs)], cleaving specific double bonds of the polyene chain. The cleavage products can act as hormones, signaling compounds, chromophores and scent/aroma constituents. Recent advances were the identification of strigolactones as apocarotenoids and the description of their novel role as shoot branching inhibitor hormones. Strigolactones are also involved in plant signaling to both harmful (parasitic weeds) and beneficial [arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi] rhizosphere residents. This review describes the progress in the characterization of CCOs, termed CCDs and NCEDs, in plants. It highlights the importance of sequential cleavage reactions of C(40) carotenoid precursors, the apocarotenoid cleavage oxygenase (ACO) nature of several CCOs and the topic of compartmentation. Work on the biosynthesis of abundant C(13) cyclohexenone and C(14) mycorradicin apocarotenoids in mycorrhizal roots has revealed a new role of CCD1 as an ACO of C(27) apocarotenoid intermediates, following their predicted export from plastid to cytosol. Manipulation of the AM-induced apocarotenoid pathway further suggests novel roles of C(13) apocarotenoids in controlling arbuscule turnover in the AM symbiosis. CCD7 has been established as a biosynthetic crosspoint, controlling both strigolactone and AM-induced C(13) apocarotenoid biosynthesis. Interdependence of the two apocarotenoid pathways may thus play a role in AM-mediated reduction of parasitic weed infestations. Potential scenarios of C(13) scent/aroma volatile biogenesis are discussed, including the novel mechanism revealed from mycorrhizal roots. The recent progress in apocarotenoid research opens up new perspectives for fundamental work, but has also great application potential for the horticulture, food and fragrance industries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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