Tomato fruits expressing a bacterial feedback-insensitive 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase of the shikimate pathway possess enhanced levels of multiple specialized metabolites and upgraded aroma

Vered Tzin, Ilana Rogachev, Sagit Meir, Michal Moyal Ben Zvi, Tania Masci, Alexander Vainstein, Asaph Aharoni, Gad Galili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit contains significant amounts of bioactive compounds, particularly multiple classes of specialized metabolites. Enhancing the synthesis and accumulation of these substances, specifically in fruits, are central for improving tomato fruit quality (e.g. favour and aroma) and could aid in elucidate pathways of specialized metabolism. To promote the production of specialized metabolites in tomato fruit, this work expressed under a fruit ripening-specific promoter, E8, a bacterial AroG gene encoding a 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase (DAHPS), which is feedback-insensitive to phenylalanine inhibition. DAHPS, the first enzyme of the shikimate pathway, links between the primary and specialized metabolism derived from aromatic amino acids. AroG expression influenced the levels of number of primary metabolites, such as shikimic acid and aromatic amino acids, as well as multiple volatile and non-volatile phenylpropanoids specialized metabolites and carotenoids. An organoleptic test, performed by trained panellists, suggested that the ripe AroG-expressing tomato fruits had a preferred floral aroma compare with fruits of the wild-type line. These results imply that fruit-specific manipulation of the conversion of primary to specialized metabolism is an attractive approach for improving fruit aroma and favour qualities as well as discovering novel fruit-specialized metabolites.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4441-4452
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume64
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Hanna Levanony and Clarita BenDayan for excellent technical assistance, Lisa Meihls for reviewing this manuscript, Arye Tishbee for operating the LC-MS instrument, Merav Gordon and Naomi Ben Dom from Hazera Genetics for tomato transformation and growth, and Natalie Dror from Frutarom Industries for organized the sensory panel and flavour evaluation of tomato samples. This study was supported by: (i) a Magnet Program of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and the Israeli Bio-TOV Consortium including Hazera Genetics, Evogene, Frutarom, Rahan Meristem (1998), and Zeraim Gedera; (ii) a grant from the Bi-national Agriculture Research and Development (BARD) foundation; and (iii) the Alternative Sustainable Energy Research Initiative of the Weizmann Institute of Science. The research in Professor Aharoni’s laboratory was also supported by research grants from the European Research Council (project SAMIT, FP7 programme), Sir Harry Djanogly, CBE, Mrs Louise Gartner, Dallas, TX, USA, the Tom and Sondra Rykoff Family Foundation, and Mr and Mrs Mordechai Segal, Israel. G.G. is an incumbent of the Bronfman Chair in Plant Sciences. A.A. is the incumbent of the Peter J. Cohn Professorial Chair.

Keywords

  • 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase
  • Aromatic amino acids
  • Metabolism
  • Shikimate pathway
  • Tomato
  • Volatiles

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