Main content area

Trichome differentiation on leaf primordia of Helianthus annuus (Asteraceae): morphology, gene expression and metabolite profile

Aschenbrenner, Anna-Katharina, Amrehn, Evelyn, Bechtel, Lisa, Spring, Otmar
Planta 2015 v.241 no.4 pp. 837-846
Helianthus annuus, florets, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, herbivores, high performance liquid chromatography, leaf primordia, metabolites, scanning electron microscopy, seed germination, seedlings, sesquiterpenoid lactones, toxicity, trichomes
MAIN CONCLUSION : Sunflower trichomes fully develop on embryonic plumula within 3 days after start of germination. Toxic sesquiterpene lactones are produced immediately thereafter thus protecting the apical bud of the seedling against herbivory. Helianthus annuus harbors non-glandular and two different types of multicellular glandular trichomes, namely the biseriate capitate glandular trichomes and the uniseriate linear glandular trichomes. The development of capitate glandular trichomes is well known from anther tips on sunflower disk florets, but not from leaves and no information is yet available on the development of the linear glandular trichomes. Scanning electron microscopy of sunflower seedlings unravelled that within the first 40 h of seed germination all three types of trichomes started to emerge on primordia of the first true leaves. Within the following 20–30 h trichomes developed from trichoblasts to fully differentiated hairs. Gene expression studies showed that genes involved in the trichome-based sesquiterpene lactone formation were up-regulated between 72 and 96 h after start of germination. Metabolite profiling with HPLC confirmed the synthesis of sesquiterpene lactones which may contribute to protect the germinating seedlings from herbivory. The study has shown that sunflower leaf primordia can serve as a fast and easy to handle model system for the investigation of trichome development in Asteraceae.