Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.88, No.3, 737-750, 2010
Transcriptional response of the catharanthine biosynthesis pathway to methyl jasmonate/nitric oxide elicitation in Catharanthus roseus hairy root culture
Jasmonates and nitric oxide (NO) play important roles in the regulation of the signaling network leading to the biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites. In this work, we explore the effect of constitutive overexpression of CrORCA3 (octadecanoid-responsive Catharanthus AP2/ERF domain), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) on the differentiated tissue of Catharanthus roseus hairy roots. The changes in catharanthine concentration and in the levels of mRNA transcripts of pathway genes and regulators were tracked for 192 h. ORCA3 overexpression led to a slight decrease of the accumulation of catharanthine, while MeJA treatment caused a large increase in the levels of transcripts of pathway genes and the catharanthine concentration. SNP treatment alone or SNP in combination with MeJA treatment caused a dramatic decrease of the cathanranthine concentration, while at the same time the levels of transcripts of zinc finger-binding proteins genes (ZCTs) increased. The latter treatment also caused a decrease of the levels of transcripts of type-I protein prenyltransferase gene (PGGT-I). This response of transcriptional repressors and pathway genes may explain the antagonistic effects of NO and MeJA on catharanthine biosynthesis in C. roseus hairy roots.