Russian Journal of Plant Physiology

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 503–508 | Cite as

Transcriptional Modulation of Structural and Regulatory Genes Involved in Isoprene Biosynthesis and Their Relevance to Oil Yield and Menthol Content in Peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) upon MeJA and GA3 Treatments

  • H. TaheriEmail author


Monoterpenes, the major components of the essential oils of the mint family, are synthesized in glandular trichomes. In peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) precursors for the biosynthesis of monoterpenes are provided by plastidial methyl-erythritol-phosphate (MEP) pathways. Knowledge regarding regulatory elements modulating isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway and trichome differentiation is rudimentary in mint plant. In this study, we aimed to find dynamic transcriptional responses of MEP pathway and regulatory genes to methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and gibberellic acid (GA3) in M. piperita by quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR). Moreover, the effects of altered precursor availability on oil composition and yield were evaluated after treatments. Consistent with the up-regulation of most of the MEP pathway genes, induced expression of AP2, WRKY and MYB genes resulted in an increase in oil yield and menthol content, suggesting combinatorial action of the JA-modulated transcription factors (TFs) in elicitation of MEP pathway gene expression. In addition to enhancing expression of some of the MEP pathway genes, GA probably affected trichome formation by induction of a C2H2-type zinc finger protein as a key trichome initiation regulator resulting in a rise in oil and menthol yield. Reduced expression of the C2H2 related TF coincided with the induction of MEP pathway genes, suggesting that the C2H2 TF may act as potential transcriptional repressor in the MEP pathway. Moreover, WRKY may regulate C2H2 and AP2 genes expression to control JA-elicited synthesis of terpenoids in M. piperita. These results provide insights related to the underlying mechanism of transcriptional regulation of terpenoids and trichome formation.


Mentha piperita MEP pathway transcription factor monoterpenes 



This work was supported by research grants from the Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Khouzestan, Iran (project no. 951.14). The authors would like to acknowledge the central laboratory of Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Khouzestan for technical help.


The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article does not contain any studies involving animals or human participants performed by any of the authors.


  1. 1.
    Murray, M.J., Lincoln, D.E., and Marble, P.M., Oil composition of Mentha aquatic × M. spicats F1 hybrids in relation to the origin of × M. piperita, Can. J. Genet. Cytol., 1972, vol. 14, pp.13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lange, B.M., Wildung, M.R., Stauber, E.J., Sanchez, C., Pouchnik, D., and Croteau, R., Probing essential oil biosynthesis and secretion by functional evaluation of expressed sequence tags from mint glandular trichomes, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2000, vol. 97, pp. 2934–2939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jin, J., Panicker, D., Wang, Q., Kim, M.J., Liu, J., and Yin, J.L., Next generation sequencing unravels the biosynthetic ability of spearmint (Mentha spicata) peltate glandular trichomes through comparative transcriptomics, BMC Plant Biol., 2014, vol. 14: 292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Maffei, M., Chialva, F., and Sacco, T., Are leaf area index (LAI) and flowering related to oil productivity in peppermint? Flavour Fragr. J., 2004, vol. 9, pp. 119–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Patra, B., Schluttenhofer, C., Wu, Y., Pattanaik, S., and Yuan, L., Transcriptional regulation of secondary metabolite biosynthesis in plants, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 2013, vol. 1829, pp. 1236–1247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhou, Z., An, L., Sun, L., Zhu, S., Xi, W., Broun, P., Yu, H., and Gan, Y., Zinc finger protein5 is required for the control of trichome initiation by acting upstream of zinc finger protein8 in Arabidopsis, Plant Physiol., 2011, vol. 157, pp. 673–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Maes, L., Inze, D., and Goossens, A., Functional specialization of the TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1 network allows differential hormonal control of laminal and marginal trichome initiation in Arabidopsis rosette leaves, Plant Physiol., 2008, vol. 148, pp. 1453–1464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Qi, T., Huang, H., Wu, D., Yan, J., Qi, Y., Song, S., and Xie, D., Arabidopsis DELLA and JAZ proteins bind the WD-repeat/bHLH/MYB complex to modulate gibberellin and jasmonate signaling synergy, Plant Cell, 2014, vol. 26, pp. 1118–1133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Livak, K.J. and Schmittgen, T.D., Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2(–Delta Delta C(T)) method, Methods, 2001, vol. 25, pp. 402–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schmittgen, T.D. and Livak, K.J., Analyzing real-time PCR data by the comparative CT method, Nat. Protoc., 2008, vol. 3, pp. 1101–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Adams, R.P., Identification of Essential Oil Components by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, Carol Stream: Allured Publ., 2006.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mahmoud, S.S. and Croteau, RB., Metabolic engineering of essential oil yield and composition in mint by altering expression of deoxyxylulose phosphate reductoisomerase and menthofuran synthase, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2001, vol. 98, pp. 8915–8920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Botella-Pavía, P., Besumbes, O., Phillips, M.A., Carretero-Paulet, L., Boronat, A., and Rodríguez-Concepción, M., Regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis in plants: evidence for a key role of hydroxymethylbutenyl diphosphate reductase in controlling the supply of plastidial isoprenoid precursors, Plant J., 2004, vol. 40, pp. 188–199.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gan, Y., Kumimoto, R., Liu, C., Ratcliffe, O., Yu, H., and Broun, P., GLABROUS INFLORESCENCE STEMS modulates the regulation by gibberellins of epidermal differentiation and shoot maturation in Arabidopsis, Plant Cell, 2006, vol. 18, pp. 1383–1395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Han, J., Wang, H., Lundgren, A., and Brodelius, P.E., Effects of overexpression of AaWRKY1 on artemisinin biosynthesis in transgenic Artemisia annua plants, Ph-ytochemistry, 2014, vol. 102, pp. 89–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Van der Fits, L. and Memelink, J., ORCA3, a jasmonate responsive transcriptional regulator of plant primary and secondary metabolism, Science, 2000, vol. 289, pp. 295–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ouwerkerk, P.B.F., Trimborn, T.O., Hilliou, F., and Memelink, J., Nuclear factors GT-1 and 3AF1 interact with multiple sequences within the promoter of the Tdc gene from Madagascar periwinkle: GT-1 is involved in UV light-induced expression, Mol. Gen. Genet., 1999, vol. 261, pp. 610–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pauw, B., Hilliou, F.A., Martin, V.S., Chatel, G., de Wolf, C.J., Champion, A., Pre, M., van Duijn, B., Kijne, J.W., van der Fits, L., and Memerlink, J., Zinc finger proteins act as transcriptional repressor of alkaloid biosynthesis genes in Catharanthus roseus, J. Biol. Chem., 2004, vol. 279, pp. 52940–52948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Suttipanta, N., Pattanaik, S., Kulshrestha, M., Patra, B., Singh, S.K., and Yuan, L., The transcription factor CrWRKY1 positively regulates the terpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus, Plant Physiol., 2011, vol. 157, pp. 2081–2093.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bedon, F., Bomal, C., Caron, S., Levasseur, C., Boyle, B., Mansfield, S.D., Schmidt, A., Gershenzon, J., Grima-Pettenati, J., Séguin, A., and MacKay, J., Subgroup 4 R2R3-MYBs in conifer trees: gene family expansion and contribution to the isoprenoid- and flavonoid-oriented responses, J. Exp. Bot., 2010, vol. 61, pp. 3847–3864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ramsay, N.A. and Glover, B.J., MYB-bHLH-WD40 protein complex and the evolution of cellular diversity, Trends Plant Sci., 2005, vol. 10, pp. 63–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Johnson, C.S., Kolevski, B., and Smyth, D.R., TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA2, a trichome and seed coat development gene of Arabidopsis, encodes WRKY transcription factor, Plant Cell, 2002, vol. 14, pp. 1359–1375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of KhouzestanAhvāzIran

Personalised recommendations