TITLE

Effects of Overproduction of Condensed Tannins and Elevated Temperature on Chemical and Ecological Traits of Genetically Modified Hybrid Aspens ( Populus tremula × P. tremuloides)

AUTHOR(S)
Kosonen, Minna; Keski-Saari, Sarita; Ruuhola, Teija; Constabel, C.; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta
PUB. DATE
October 2012
SOURCE
Journal of Chemical Ecology;Oct2012, Vol. 38 Issue 10, p1235
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Gene transfer techniques offer new possibilities to study regulation of phenolic pathways and the defensive role of phenolics. Hybrid aspen lines ( Populus tremula × tremuloides) that overexpress the PtMYB134 transcription factor were used to study the effects of condensed tannin production on plant physiology and plant defenses. The MYB134 protein activates all the known genes of the biosynthetic pathway for condensed tannins (CTs), so overexpression of MYB134 was expected to increase CT concentration in all tissues of the plants. Two out of three MYB134 overexpression lines (46 and 54) accumulated high levels of CTs and (+)-catechin, with a concomitant decrease in the levels of salicylates, but one transgenic line, MYB 61, failed to overproduce CTs. The concentrations of phenolic compounds generally were lower in the aspen leaves grown under elevated temperature than in those grown under ambient temperature. A specialist leaf beetle, Phratora vitellinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), was chosen to examine how over-expression of MYB134 and elevated temperature affect the food choice of a beetle adapted to feed on leaves rich in salicylates but containing little CT. Specialist beetles preferred the leaves grown at ambient temperatures possibly because these leaves had higher concentrations of salicylates, which are feeding stimulants. Beetles also preferred MYB line 61, which contained a normal level of CT but a slightly elevated level of salicylates. Our results show that transgenic plants are powerful tools, but that enhancing one secondary pathway may lead to unexpected effects on other pathways, and thus impact characteristics such as plant resistance against herbivores, especially under changing climatic conditions.
ACCESSION #
83481433

 

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