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Title: Gene expression analysis and metabolite profiling of silymarin biosynthesis during milk thistle (Silybum marianum (l.) gaertn.) fruit ripening
Authors: Samantha Drouet
Duangjai Tungmunnithum
Éric Lainé
Christophe Hano
Universite d'Orleans
Mahidol University
Keywords: Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology;Chemical Engineering;Chemistry;Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2020
Citation: International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Vol.21, No.13 (2020), 1-18
Abstract: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Mature fruits (i.e., achenes) of milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn., Asteraceae) accumulate high amounts of silymarin (SILM), a complex mixture of bioactive flavonolignans deriving from taxifolin. Their biological activities in relation with human health promotion and disease prevention are well described. However, the conditions of their biosynthesis in planta are still obscure. To fill this gap, fruit development stages were first precisely defined to study the accumulation kinetics of SILM constituents during fruit ripening. The accumulation profiles of the SILM components during fruit maturation were determined using the LC-MS analysis of these defined developmental phases. The kinetics of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), chalcone synthase (CHS) and peroxidase (POX) activities suggest in situ biosynthesis of SILM from l-Phenylalanine during fruit maturation rather than a transport of precursors to the achene. In particular, in contrast to laccase activity, POX activity was associated with the accumulation of silymarin, thus indicating a possible preferential involvement of peroxidase(s) in the oxidative coupling step leading to flavonolignans. Reference genes have been identified, selected and validated to allow accurate gene expression profiling of candidate biosynthetic genes (PAL, CAD, CHS, F3H, F3’H and POX) related to SILM accumulation. Gene expression profiles were correlated with SILM accumulation kinetic and preferential location in pericarp during S. marianum fruit maturation, reaching maximum biosynthesis when desiccation occurs, thus reinforcing the hypothesis of an in situ biosynthesis. This observation led us to consider the involvement of abscisic acid (ABA), a key phytohormone in the control of fruit ripening process. ABA accumulation timing and location during milk thistle fruit ripening appeared in line with a potential regulation of the SLIM accumulation. A possible transcriptional regulation of SILM biosynthesis by ABA was supported by the presence of ABA-responsive cis-acting elements in the promoter regions of the SILM biosynthetic genes studied. These results pave the way for a better understanding of the biosynthetic regulation of SILM during the maturation of S. marianum fruit and offer important insights to better control the production of these medicinally important compounds.
ISSN: 14220067
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2020

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