Modulation of Ergot Alkaloids in a Grass-Endophyte Symbiosis by Alteration of mRNA Concentrations of an Ergot Alkaloid Synthesis Gene

Prashanthi Mulinti, Simona Florea, Christopher L. Schardl, Daniel G. Panaccione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The profile of ergot alkaloids in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) containing the endophytic fungus Epichloë typhina × festucae includes high concentrations of the early pathway metabolites ergotryptamine and chanoclavine-I in addition to the pathway end-product ergovaline. Because these alkaloids differ in activity, we investigated strategies to alter their relative concentrations. An RNAi-based approach reduced the concentration of mRNA from the gene easA, which encodes an enzyme required for a ring closure that separates ergotryptamine and chanoclavine-I from ergovaline. Lower easA mRNA concentrations correlated with lower concentrations of ergovaline and higher concentrations of ergotryptamine and chanoclavine-I. Overexpression of easA led to higher concentrations of ergovaline in leaf blades but not in pseudostems; concentrations of the early pathway metabolites were not altered in overexpression strains. The data indicate that altering the concentration of mRNA from a single gene can change alkaloid flux, but the magnitude of the change was limited and variable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4982-4989
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume64
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 22 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

Keywords

  • Epichloë
  • Lolium perenne
  • RNAi
  • ergovaline
  • secondary metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)

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