Expression of spearmint limonene synthase in transgenic spike lavender results in an altered monoterpene composition in developing leaves
We generated transgenic spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) plants constitutively expressing the limonene synthase (LS) gene from spearmint (Mentha spicata), encoding the LS enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of limonene from geranyl diphosphate. Overexpression of the LS transgene did not consistently affect monoterpene profile in pooled leaves or flowers from transgenic T0 plants. Analyses from cohorts of leaves sampled at different developmental stages showed that essential oil accumulation in transgenic and control plants was higher in developing than in mature leaves. Furthermore, developing leaves of transgenic plants contained increased limonene contents (more than 450% increase compared to controls) that correlated with the highest transcript accumulation of the LS gene. The levels of other monoterpene pathway components were also significantly altered. T0 transgenic plants were grown for 2 years, self-pollinated, and the T1 seeds obtained. The increased limonene phenotype was maintained in the progenies that inherited the LS transgene.
Journal: Metabolic Engineering - Volume 10, Issues 3–4, May–July 2008, Pages 166–177