Manipulation of flavour and aroma compound sequestration and release using a glycosyltransferase with specificity for terpene alcohols.

Abstract : Glycosides are an important potential source of aroma and flavour compounds for release as volatiles in flowers and fruit. The production of glycosides is catalysed by UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) that mediate the transfer of an activated nucleotide sugar to acceptor aglycones. A screen of UGTs expressed in kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) identified the gene AdGT4 which was highly expressed in floral tissues and whose expression increased during fruit ripening. Recombinant AdGT4 enzyme glycosylated a range of terpenes and primary alcohols found as glycosides in ripe kiwifruit. Two of the enzyme's preferred alcohol aglycones, hexanol and (Z)-hex-3-enol, contribute strongly to the 'grassy-green' aroma notes of ripe kiwifruit and other fruit including tomato and olive. Transient over-expression of AdGT4 in tobacco leaves showed that enzyme was able to glycosylate geraniol and octan-3-ol in planta whilst transient expression of an RNAi construct in Actinidia eriantha fruit reduced accumulation of a range of terpene glycosides. Stable over-expression of AdGT4 in transgenic petunia resulted in increased sequestration of hexanol and other alcohols in the flowers. Transgenic tomato fruit stably over-expressing AdGT4 showed changes in both the sequestration and release of a range of alcohols including 3-methylbutanol, hexanol and geraniol. Sequestration occurred at all stages of fruit ripening. Ripe fruit sequestering high levels of glycosides were identified as having a less intense, earthier aroma in a sensory trial. These results demonstrate the importance of UGTs in sequestering key volatile compounds in planta and suggest a future approach to enhancing aromas and flavours in flowers and during fruit ripening.
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Yar-Khing Yauk, Claire Ged, Mindy Y. Wang, Adam J. Matich, Lydie Tessarotto, et al.. Manipulation of flavour and aroma compound sequestration and release using a glycosyltransferase with specificity for terpene alcohols.. Plant Journal, Wiley, 2014, 80 (2), pp.317-330. ⟨10.1111/tpj.12634⟩. ⟨hal-01335929⟩

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