Emission of ent-Kaurene, a diterpenoid hydrocarbon precursor for gibberellins, into the headspace from plants

Minoru Otsuka, Hiromichi Kenmoku, Mikihiro Ogawa, Kazunori Okada, Wataru Mitsuhashi, Takeshi Sassa, Yuji Kamiya, Tomonobu Toyomasu, Shinjiro Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


ent-Kaurene is a tetracyclic hydrocarbon precursor for gibberellins (GAs) in plants and fungi. To address whether fungal GA biosynthesis enzymes function in plants, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing ent-kaurene synthase (GfCPS/KS) from a GA-producing fungus Gibberella fujikuroi. GfCPS/KS catalyzes a two-step reaction corresponding to ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase (CPS) and ent-kaurene synthase (KS) activities in plants. When GfCPS/KS was overexpressed and targeted to plastids, a range of GA-deficient phenotypes of the ga1-3 and ga2-1 mutants (defective in CPS and KS, respectively) were restored to wild type. Unexpectedly, the transgenic lines overproducing GfCPS/KS emitted the GA precursor ent-kaurene into the headspace besides its accumulation in the plant body. When co-cultivated with the ent-kaurene overproducers in a closed environment, the airborne ent-kaurene was able to fully complement the dwarf phenotype of ga1-3 and ga2-1 mutants, but not that of the ga3-1 mutant (defective in ent-kaurene oxidase). These results suggest that ent-kaurene may be efficiently metabolized into bioactive GAs in Arabidopsis when supplied as a volatile. We also provide evidence that ent-kaurene is released in the headspace of wild-type Chamaecyparis obtusa and Cryptomeria japonica plants, suggesting the occurrence of this hydrocarbon GA precursor as a volatile in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1138
Number of pages10
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Sep
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Diterpene
  • Gibberella fujikuroi
  • Gibberellin
  • ent-Kaurene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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