Induction of isoflavonoid biosynthesis in Lotus japonicus after UV-B irradiation.
Kaducová Mária, Monje-Rueda María Dolores, García-Calderón Margarita, Pérez-Delgado Carmen María, Eliášová Adriana, Gajdošová Silvia, Petruľová Veronika, Betti Marco, Márquez Antonio J, Paľove-Balang Peter
Journal of plant physiology
Enhanced ultraviolet radiation (UV) is an important environmental factor that may cause reductions in the growth and productivity of plants. In the present work we studied the response to UV-B radiation in leaves of the model legume Lotus japonicus. After UV-B treatment, induction of phenyalanine-ammonia lyase gene expression and enzyme activity was detected. Among the ten genes encoding for PAL found in the L. japonicus genome, LjPAL1 was both the most expressed and the most induced. All the genes encoding for enzymes of the isoflavonoid pathway were also strongly induced; this was paralleled by a marked accumulation of vestitol and isoliquiritigenin. Moreover, accumulation of several other isoflavonoids was also detected. In vitro measurements of the free radical scavenging capacity of vestitol indicated that this compound can be an appropriate free radical scavenger, suggesting a possible role for this molecule in the response to abiotic stress. On the other hand, an increase of flavonol levels was not observed while the expression of the key enzymes for flavonol biosynthesis flavanone-3-hydroxylase and flavonol synthase was decreased. Taken together, these results indicate that L. japonicus follows a peculiar strategy in its response to UV radiation by accumulating isoflavonoids as an possible alternative to accumulation of flavonols as observed in other plant species.