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    Biosynthesis of secondary metabolites relies on primary metabolic pathways to provide precursors, energy, and cofactors, thus requiring coordinated regulation of primary and secondary metabolic networks. However, to date, it remains largely unknown how this coordination is achieved. Using Petunia hybrida flowers, which emit high levels of phenylpropanoid/benzenoid volatile organic compounds (VOCs), we uncovered genome-wide dynamic deposition of histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation (H3K9ac) during anthesis as an underlying mechanism to coordinate primary and secondary metabolic networks. The observed epigenome reprogramming is accompanied by transcriptional activation at gene loci involved in primary metabolic pathways that provide precursor phenylalanine, as well as secondary metabolic pathways to produce volatile compounds. We also observed transcriptional repression among genes involved in alternative phenylpropanoid branches that compete for metabolic precursors. We show that GNAT family histone acetyltransferase(s) (HATs) are required for the expression of genes involved in VOC biosynthesis and emission, by using chemical inhibitors of HATs, and by knocking down a specific HAT gene, ELP3, through transient RNAi. Together, our study supports that regulatory mechanisms at chromatin level may play an essential role in activating primary and secondary metabolic pathways to regulate VOC synthesis in petunia flowers. © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.


    Ryan M Patrick, Xing-Qi Huang, Natalia Dudareva, Ying Li. Dynamic histone acetylation in floral volatile synthesis and emission in petunia flowers. Journal of experimental botany. 2021 May 04;72(10):3704-3722

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    PMID: 33606881

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