EOBII, a gene encoding a flower-specific regulator of phenylpropanoid volatiles' biosynthesis in Petunia

Ben Spitzer-Rimon, Elena Marhevka, Oren Barkai, Ira Marton, Orit Edelbaum, Tania Masci, Naveen Kumar Prathapani, Elena Shklarman, Marianna Ovadis, Alexander Vainstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Floral scent, which is determined by a complex mixture of low molecular weight volatile molecules, plays a major role in the plant's life cycle. Phenylpropanoid volatiles are the main determinants of floral scent in petunia (Petunia hybrida). A screen using virus-induced gene silencing for regulators of scent production in petunia flowers yielded a novel R2R3-MYB-like regulatory factor of phenylpropanoid volatile biosynthesis, EMISSION OF BENZENOIDS II (EOBII). This factor was localized to the nucleus and its expression was found to be flower specific and temporally and spatially associated with scent production/emission. Suppression of EOBII expression led to significant reduction in the levels of volatiles accumulating in and emitted by flowers, such as benzaldehyde, phenylethyl alcohol, benzylbenzoate, and isoeugenol. Up/downregulation of EOBII affected transcript levels of several biosynthetic floral scent-related genes encoding enzymes from the phenylpropanoid pathway that are directly involved in the production of these volatiles and enzymes from the shikimate pathway that determine substrate availability. Due to its coordinated wide-ranging effect on the production of floral volatiles, and its lack of effect on anthocyanin production, a central regulatory role is proposed for EOBII in the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoid volatiles.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1961-1976
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010


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