Journal Article

Emission of <i>ent</i>-Kaurene, a Diterpenoid Hydrocarbon Precursor for Gibberellins, into the Headspace from Plants

Minoru Otsuka, Hiromichi Kenmoku, Mikihiro Ogawa, Kazunori Okada, Wataru Mitsuhashi, Takeshi Sassa, Yuji Kamiya, Tomonobu Toyomasu and Shinjiro Yamaguchi

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 45, issue 9, pages 1129-1138
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Emission of ent-Kaurene, a Diterpenoid Hydrocarbon Precursor for Gibberellins, into the Headspace from Plants

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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ent-Kaurene is a tetracyclic hydrocarbon precursor for gibberellins (GAs) in plants and fungi. To address whether fungal GA biosynthesis enzymes function in plants, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing ent-kaurene synthase (GfCPS/KS) from a GA-producing fungus Gibberella fujikuroi. GfCPS/KS catalyzes a two-step reaction corresponding to ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase (CPS) and ent-kaurene synthase (KS) activities in plants. When GfCPS/KS was overexpressed and targeted to plastids, a range of GA-deficient phenotypes of the ga1-3 and ga2-1 mutants (defective in CPS and KS, respectively) were restored to wild type. Unexpectedly, the transgenic lines overproducing GfCPS/KS emitted the GA precursor ent-kaurene into the headspace besides its accumulation in the plant body. When co-cultivated with the ent-kaurene overproducers in a closed environment, the airborne ent-kaurene was able to fully complement the dwarf phenotype of ga1-3 and ga2-1 mutants, but not that of the ga3-1 mutant (defective in ent-kaurene oxidase). These results suggest that ent-kaurene may be efficiently metabolized into bioactive GAs in Arabidopsis when supplied as a volatile. We also provide evidence that ent-kaurene is released in the headspace of wild-type Chamaecyparis obtusa and Cryptomeria japonica plants, suggesting the occurrence of this hydrocarbon GA precursor as a volatile in nature.

Keywords: Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana — Diterpene — ent-Kaurene — Gibberella fujikuroi — Gibberellin.; Abbreviations: CDP, ent-copalyl diphosphate; CPS, ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase; GC-MS, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; GA, gibberellin; GFP, green fluorescent protein; GGDP, geranylgeranyl diphosphate; Kan, kanamycin; KO, ent-kaurene oxidase; KS, ent-kaurene synthase; MEP, methylerythritol phosphate; ODS, octadecylsilane; PDMS, polydimethylsiloxane; QRT–PCR, quantitative reverse transcription–PCR; SPME, solid-phase microextraction; TP, transit peptide.

Journal Article.  6615 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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