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A cytochrome P450 CYP71 enzyme expressed in Sorghum bicolor root hair cells participates in the biosynthesis of the benzoquinone allelochemical sorgoleone

Pan, Zhiqiang, Baerson, Scott R., Wang, Mei, Bajsa‐Hirschel, Joanna, Rimando, Agnes M., Wang, Xiaoqiang, Nanayakkara, N. P. Dhammika, Noonan, Brice P., Fromm, Michael E., Dayan, Franck E., Khan, Ikhlas A., Duke, Stephen O.
Thenew phytologist 2018 v.218 no.2 pp. 616-629
Nicotiana benthamiana, RNA interference, Sorghum bicolor, biochemical pathways, biosynthesis, catalytic activity, cytochrome P-450, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, genetically modified organisms, hydrophobicity, leaves, moieties, open reading frames, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, resorcinol, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, root exudates, root hairs, sorgoleones, yeasts
Sorgoleone, a major component of the hydrophobic root exudates of Sorghum spp., is probably responsible for many of the allelopathic properties attributed to members of this genus. Much of the biosynthetic pathway for this compound has been elucidated, with the exception of the enzyme responsible for the catalysis of the addition of two hydroxyl groups to the resorcinol ring. A library prepared from isolated Sorghum bicolor root hair cells was first mined for P450‐like sequences, which were then analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription‐polymerase chain reaction (RT‐qPCR) to identify those preferentially expressed in root hairs. Full‐length open reading frames for each candidate were generated, and then analyzed biochemically using both a yeast expression system and transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. RNA interference (RNAi)‐mediated repression in transgenic S. bicolor was used to confirm the roles of these candidates in the biosynthesis of sorgoleone in planta. A P450 enzyme, designated CYP71AM1, was found to be capable of catalyzing the formation of dihydrosorgoleone using 5‐pentadecatrienyl resorcinol‐3‐methyl ether as substrate, as determined by gas chromatography‐mass spectroscopy (GC‐MS). RNAi‐mediated repression of CYP71AM1 in S. bicolor resulted in decreased sorgoleone contents in multiple independent transformant events. Our results strongly suggest that CYP71AM1 participates in the biosynthetic pathway of the allelochemical sorgoleone.