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Terpene profiling, transcriptome analysis and characterization of cis-β-terpineol synthase from Ocimum

Anand, Atul, Jayaramaiah, Ramesha H., Beedkar, Supriya D., Dholakia, Bhushan B., Lavhale, Santosh G., Punekar, Sachin A., Gade, Wasudeo N., Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V., Giri, Ashok P.
Physiology and molecular biology of plants 2019 v.25 no.1 pp. 47-57
Ocimum gratissimum, Ocimum kilimandscharicum, Ocimum tenuiflorum, beta-caryophyllene, biosynthesis, borneol, camphor, chemotypes, enzymes, gene overexpression, genes, leaves, limonene, medicinal properties, messenger RNA, metabolites, molecular cloning, myrcene, phylogeny, tissues, transcriptomics
Ocimum species produces a varied mix of different metabolites that imparts immense medicinal properties. To explore this chemo-diversity, we initially carried out metabolite profiling of different tissues of five Ocimum species and identified the major terpenes. This analysis broadly classified these five Ocimum species into two distinct chemotypes namely, phenylpropanoid-rich and terpene-rich. In particular, β-caryophyllene, myrcene, limonene, camphor, borneol and selinene were major terpenes present in these Ocimum species. Subsequently, transcriptomic analysis of pooled RNA samples from different tissues of Ocimum gratissimum, O. tenuiflorum and O. kilimandscharicum identified 38 unique transcripts of terpene synthase (TPS) gene family. Full-length gene cloning, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of three TPS transcripts were carried out along with their expression in various tissues. Terpenoid metabolite and expression profiling of candidate TPS genes in various tissues of Ocimum species revealed spatial variances. Further, putative TPS contig 19414 (TPS1) was selected to corroborate its role in terpene biosynthesis. Agrobacterium-mediated transient over-expression assay of TPS1 in the leaves of O. kilimandscharicum and subsequent metabolic and gene expression analyses indicated it as a cis-β-terpineol synthase. Overall, present study provided deeper understanding of terpene diversity in Ocimum species and might help in the enhancement of their terpene content through advanced biotechnological approaches.