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Plant Mol Biol. 2012 Apr;78(6):525-43. doi: 10.1007/s11103-012-9882-5.

Serotonin accumulation in transgenic rice by over-expressing tryptophan decarboxylase results in a dark brown phenotype and stunted growth.

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1
Institute of Molecular Biology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan.

Abstract

A mutant M47286 with a stunted growth, low fertility and dark-brown phenotype was identified from a T-DNA-tagged rice mutant library. This mutant contained a copy of the T-DNA tag inserted at the location where the expression of two putative tryptophan decarboxylase genes, TDC-1 and TDC-3, were activated. Enzymatic assays of both recombinant proteins showed tryptophan decarboxylase activities that converted tryptophan to tryptamine, which could be converted to serotonin by a constitutively expressed tryptamine 5' hydroxylase (T5H) in rice plants. Over-expression of TDC-1 and TDC-3 in transgenic rice recapitulated the stunted growth, darkbrown phenotype and resulted in a low fertility similar to M47286. The degree of stunted growth and dark-brown color was proportional to the expression levels of TDC-1 and TDC-3. The levels of tryptamine and serotonin accumulation in these transgenic rice lines were also directly correlated with the expression levels of TDC-1 and TDC-3. A mass spectrometry assay demonstrated that the darkbrown leaves and hulls in the TDC-overexpressing transgenic rice were caused by the accumulation of serotonin dimer and that the stunted growth and low fertility were also caused by the accumulation of serotonin and serotonin dimer, but not tryptamine. These results represent the first evidence that over-expression of TDC results in stunted growth, low fertility and the accumulation of serotonin, which when converted to serotonin dimer, leads to a dark brown plant color.

PMID:
22297847
DOI:
10.1007/s11103-012-9882-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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