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Molecular and biochemical studies of fragrance biosynthesis in rose

Abstract : Roses are one of the most popular ornamental plants, whose volatiles are not only involved in environmental interactions but also widely used for industries. Chapter 1 describes the cultivation history of roses, usages of rose fragrance, knowledge on the biosynthesis of rose scent compounds, as well as non-canonical biosynthesis pathways of other plant volatiles. Experimental chapters (Chapter 2 and 3) analyse the functions of two genes expressed in rose petals, both encoding Nudix hydrolase 1 (NUDX1) protein. NUDX1-1 gene (named RhNUDX1) was first discovered by comparing the transcriptomes of two rose cultivars, the scented Rosa x hybrida cv. ‘Papa Meilland’ (PM) and the unscented R. x hybrida cv. ‘Rouge Meilland’ (RM). RhNUDX1-1 was only expressed in scented PM and its expression exhibited a positive correlation with the monoterpenoid production in petals, especially geraniol. When studying a rose progeny of R. chinensis cv. ‘Old Blush’ (OB) and R. x wichurana (Rw), an orthologous gene RcNUDX1-1a was found in OB, whose expression also had positive correlation with geraniol emission. A paralogous gene in Rw, RwNUDX1-2, was discovered and it was shown that its expression displayed a correlation with the sesquiterpenoid production, especially E,E-farnesol. A series of in vitro and in vivo assays as well as correlation analyses verified the function of RhNUDX1-1, which hydrolysed geranyl diphosphate (GPP) to geranyl monophosphate (GP). The transformation of GP into geraniol is supposed to be processed by an, as yet, unidentified phosphatase. The prediction of the localisation together with green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion experiments revealed that RhNUDX1-1 was located in the cytosol. A series of approaches (QTL analyses, enzymatic assays and transient expression studies) were also applied to RwNUDX1-2, demonstrating its function in the production of E,E-farnesol. Mapping of RwNUDX1-2 and subcellular localization of the protein are still under investigation. Furthermore, protein crystallography and protein modelling illustrated the NUDX1-substrate interaction and proposed several residues that may be important for substrate recognition, although further experimental and computational data are required to gain more insight into the enzymatic mechanism. Collectively, these data revealed an alternative pathway for the biosynthesis of terpenoids, especially geraniol and E,E-farnesol, in rose, via the hydrolysis of prenyl diphosphates by NUDX1 enzymes. Transcriptional regulation of RcNUDX1-1a or RwNUDX1-2 probably plays an important role in the scent production by rose petals. Therefore, three promoters, pOB1a (promoter of RcNUDX1-1a), pOB1b (promoter of RcNUDX1-1b, not expressed in rose petals), pRw (promoter of RwNUDX1-2) were cloned and tested (Chapter 4). In addition, two transcription factors (TFs), RcbHLH79 (OB TF) and RwbHLH79 (Rw TF) candidates were chosen via RNA-Seq analysis as their expression correlated with expression of RcNUDX1-1a or RwNUDX1-2, respectively (Chapter 5). Using transient expression assays with a reporter gene, β-glucuronidase (GUS) in rose petals, it was shown that all three promoters could drive the expression of GUS, suggesting that all of them are active. However, quantification of promoter activities is still needed. OB TF and Rw TF were introduced into Nicotiana benthamiana leaves together with the promoters driving GUS , to determine if they were able to activate these promoters. However, no significant transactivation was detected in any promoter-TF combination. The expression of the TF in the progeny was also analysed but, due to the similarity of the sequences of family members, no conclusive data were obtained. Transcriptomes of the petals four roses, two of which produce geraniol but not E,E-farnesol and two that produce E,E-farnesol but not geraniol, were analysed (Chapter 5) and this resulted in a list of putative scent related genes and transcription factors for further study
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Pulu Sun. Molecular and biochemical studies of fragrance biosynthesis in rose. Vegetal Biology. Université de Lyon; Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017LYSES005⟩. ⟨tel-02102533⟩

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