The lipid precursor alcohols of pyrethrins—jasmolone, pyrethrolone and cinerolone—have been proposed as sharing parts of the oxylipin pathway with jasmonic acid. This implies that one of the first committed steps of pyrethrin biosynthesis is catalyzed by a lipoxygenase, catalyzing the hydroperoxidation of linolenic acid at position 13. Previously, we showed that the expression and activity of chrysanthemyl diphosphate synthase (TcCDS), the enzyme catalyzing the first committed step in the biosynthesis of the acid moiety of pyrethrins, is trichome-specific and developmentally regulated in flowers. In the present study we characterized the expression pattern of 25 lipoxygenase EST contigs, and subsequently carried out the molecular cloning of two pyrethrum lipoxygenases, TcLOX1 and TcLOX2, that have a similar pattern to TcCDS. Only recombinant TcLOX1 catalyzed the peroxidation of the linolenic acid substrate. Just as TcCDS, TcLOX1, are exclusively expressed in trichomes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the enzyme shared the highest homology with chloroplast-localized 13-type-lipoxygenases that are involved in maintaining basal levels of jasmonate.
- jasmonic acid