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Influence of Light on the Free Amino Acid Content and γ-Aminobutyric Acid Synthesis in Brassica juncea Seedlings

Li, Xiaohua, Kim, Yeon Bok, Uddin, Md Romij, Lee, Sanghyun, Kim, Sun-Ju, Park, Sang Un
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2013 v.61 no.36 pp. 8624-8631
Brassica juncea, biosynthesis, cultivars, free amino acids, gamma-aminobutyric acid, gene expression, genes, glutamate decarboxylase, high performance liquid chromatography, mustard, seed germination, seedlings, seeds
Glutamate decarboxylase (GAD; EC is an important enzyme in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) biosynthesis. Here we report the influence of light on amino acid accumulation and investigate the molecular mechanism by which light influences GABA biosynthesis at the seedling stage of two mustard (Brassica juncea) cultivars (green-leaf and purple-leaf). Gene expression profiles of four GAD-encoding genes (GAD1, GAD2, GAD4a, and GAD4b) and their impact on GABA biosynthesis were analyzed. Light exerted an obvious influence on amino acid accumulation in mustard seedlings. GAD gene expression was also significantly regulated by light/dark or dark treatment, which differentially regulated GABA biosynthesis in B. juncea seedlings. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) revealed that the seeds of purple cultivars contain a higher amount of free amino acids and GABA than do the seeds of green cultivars. After seed germination, however, the accumulation of free amino acids peaked in dark-treated seedlings on day 9 in both cultivars, whereas GABA synthesis peaked at 9 days under light conditions. This study may provide a foundation for understanding the effect of light on amino acids, particularly GABA biosynthesis in Brassica plants.