Revealing floral metabolite network in tuberose that underpins scent volatiles synthesis, storage and emission

The role of central carbon metabolism in the synthesis and emission of scent volatiles in tuberose flowers was revealed through measurement of changes in transcripts and metabolites levels. Abstract Tuberose or Agave amica (Medikus) Thiede & Govaerts is a widely cultivated ornamental plant in several subtropical countries. Little is known about metabolite networking involved in biosynthesis of specialized metabolites utilizing primary metabolites.

In this study, metabolite profiling and gene expression analyses were carried out from six stages of maturation throughout floral lifespan. Multivariate analysis indicated distinction between early and late maturation stages. Further, the roles of sugars viz. sucrose, glucose and fructose in synthesis, glycosylation and emission of floral scent volatiles were studied. Transcript levels of an ABC G family transporter (picked up from the floral transcriptome) was in synchronization with terpene volatiles emission during the anthesis stage. A diversion from phenylpropanoid/benzenoid to flavonoid metabolism was observed as flowers mature.

Further, it was suggested that this metabolic shift could be mediated by isoforms of 4-Coumarate-CoA ligase along with Myb308 transcription factor. Maximum glycosylation of floral scent volatiles was shown to occur at the late mature stage when emission declined, facilitating both storage and export from the floral tissues. Thus, this study provides an insight into floral scent volatiles synthesis, storage and emission by measuring changes at transcripts and metabolites levels in tuberose throughout floral lifespan.

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N Kutty, Nithya & Ghissing, Upashana & Mitra, Adinpunya. (2021). Revealing floral metabolite network in tuberose that underpins scent volatiles synthesis, storage and emission. Plant Molecular Biology. 10.1007/s11103-021-01171-7. 

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