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Accumulation of Rutin and Betulinic Acid and Expression of Phenylpropanoid and Triterpenoid Biosynthetic Genes in Mulberry (Morus alba L.)

Zhao, Shicheng, Park, Chang Ha, Li, Xiaohua, Kim, Yeon Bok, Yang, Jingli, Sung, Gyoo Byung, Park, Nam II, Kim, Soonok, Park, Sang Un
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2015 v.63 no.38 pp. 8622-8630
Morus alba, Oriental traditional medicine, betulin, betulinic acid, biochemical pathways, complementary DNA, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, leaves, mulberries, plant organs, ripening, roots, rutin, secondary metabolites, silkworms
Mulberry (Morus alba L.) is used in traditional Chinese medicine and is the sole food source of the silkworm. Here, 21 cDNAs encoding phenylpropanoid biosynthetic genes and 21 cDNAs encoding triterpene biosynthetic genes were isolated from mulberry. The expression levels of genes involved in these biosynthetic pathways and the accumulation of rutin, betulin, and betulinic acid, important secondary metabolites, were investigated in different plant organs. Most phenylpropanoid and triterpene biosynthetic genes were highly expressed in leaves and/or fruit, and most genes were downregulated during fruit ripening. The accumulation of rutin was more than fivefold higher in leaves than in other organs, and higher levels of betulin and betulinic acid were found in roots and leaves than in fruit. By comparing the contents of these compounds with gene expression levels, we speculate that MaUGT78D1 and MaLUS play important regulatory roles in the rutin and betulin biosynthetic pathways.