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Plant Cell Physiol. 2018 Jan 1;59(1):128-141. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcx167.

Genistein-Specific G6DT Gene for the Inducible Production of Wighteone in Lotus japonicus.

Author information

Key Laboratory of Plant Resources and Beijing Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China.
Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.


Prenylated isoflavonoids have been found in several legume plants, and they possess various biological activities that play important roles in both plant defense and human health. However, it is still unknown whether prenylated isoflavonoids are present in the model legume plant Lotus japonicus. In the present study, we found that the prenylated isoflavonoid wighteone was produced in L. japonicus when leaf was supplemented with genistein. Furthermore, a novel prenyltransferase gene, LjG6DT, was identified, which shared high similarity with and was closely related to several known prenyltransferase genes involved in isoflavonoid biosynthesis. The recombinant LjG6DT protein expressed in yeast exhibited prenylation activity toward genistein as an exclusive substrate, which produced wighteone, a prenylated genistein at the C-6 position that occurs normally in legume plants. The LjG6DT-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein is targeted to plastids. The transcript level of LjG6DT is induced by glutathione, methyl jasmonate and salicylic acid, implying that LjG6DT is involved in stress response. Overexpression of LjG6DT in L. japonicus hairy roots led to increased accumulation of wighteone when genistein was supplied, indicating that LjG6DT is functional in vivo. Feeding assays with the upstream intermediate naringenin revealed that accumulation of wighteone in L. japonicus was dependent on genistein supplementation, and accumulation of wighteone is competed by genistein methylation. This study demonstrated that phytoalexin wighteone is inducibly produced in L. japonicus, and it provides new insight into the biosynthesis and accumulation of prenylated isoflavonoids in legume plants.


Genistein; Isoflavonoid prenyltransferase; Isoflavonoids; Lotus japonicus; Wighteone

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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