Subcellular monoterpene biosynthesis capacity based on local geranyl diphosphate (GDP) availability or locally boosted GDP production was determined for plastids, cytosol and mitochondria. A geraniol synthase (GES) was targeted to plastids, cytosol, or mitochondria. Transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana indicated local GDP availability for each compartment but resulted in different product levels. A GDP synthase from Picea abies (PaGDPS1) was shown to boost GDP production. PaGDPS1 was also targeted to plastids, cytosol or mitochondria and PaGDPS1 and GES were coexpressed in all possible combinations. Geraniol and geraniol-derived products were analyzed by GC-MS and LC-MS, respectively. GES product levels were highest for plastid-targeted GES, followed by mitochondrial- and then cytosolic-targeted GES. For each compartment local boosting of GDP biosynthesis increased GES product levels. GDP exchange between compartments is not equal: while no GDP is exchanged from the cytosol to the plastids, 100% of GDP in mitochondria can be exchanged to plastids, while only 7% of GDP from plastids is available for mitochondria. This suggests a direct exchange mechanism for GDP between plastids and mitochondria. Cytosolic PaGDPS1 competes with plastidial GES activity, suggesting an effective drain of isopentenyl diphosphate from the plastids to the cytosol.
Dong, L., Jongedijk, E. J., Bouwmeester, H. J., & van der Krol, A. R. (2016). Monoterpene biosynthesis potential of plant subcellular compartments. New Phytologist, 209(2), 679-690. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.13629