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.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
|Published - Jun 22 2016
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.
- Lolium perenne
- secondary metabolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)