|K. Hanhineva, M.J. Anttonen, H. Kokko, P. Soininen, R. Laatikainen, S. Kärenlampi, I. Rogachev, A. Aharoni
|Fragaria × ananassa, strawberries, genetic engineering, resveratrol, metabolic profiling, phenolic compounds
Modification of plants by introducing the stilbene synthase (STS) gene has often resulted in novel production of the phytoalexin resveratrol, and provided enhanced resistance against several pathogenic fungi.
In the present study, a grapevine STS expressing strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) was investigated for the effect of the transgene on plant metabolism by techniques including quantitative real-time PCR, UPLC-qTOF-MS profiling and NMR analysis.
The introduced STS gene caused down-regulation of the strawberry endogenous chalcone synthase (CHS) gene expression.
The perturbation of the gene expression was reflected at the metabolite content, as the CHS enzyme downstream products, mainly flavonols, were found at reduced levels concomitantly with the accumulation of the precursor molecules like phenolic acid derivatives.
In addition, several previously unidentified metabolites were accumulating in the leaves of the transgenic strawberry plants.
A detailed metabolite analysis was pertinent for the detection of unintended consequences of the gene transfer, and eventually provided deeper insight in the phenolic compound metabolism of strawberry.
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