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Genome-Wide Identification and Functional Characterization of UDP-Glucosyltransferase Genes Involved in Flavonoid Biosynthesis in Glycine max
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Yin QG, Shen GA, Di SK, Fan CY, Chang ZZ, Pang YZ*
PubYear : 2017
Volume : 58  Issue : 9
Publication Name : Plant and Cell Physiology
Page number : 1558–1572
Abstract : 

Flavonoids, natural products abundant in the model legume Glycine max, confer benefits to plants and to animal health. Flavonoids are present in soybean mainly as glycoconjugates. However, the mechanisms of biosynthesis of flavonoid glycosides are largely unknown in G. max. In the present study, 212 putative UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT) genes were identified in G. max by genome-wide searching. The GmUGT genes were distributed differentially among the 20 chromosomes, and they were expressed in various tissues with distinct expression profiles. We further analyzed the enzymatic activities of 11 GmUGTs that are potentially involved in flavonoid glycosylation, and found that six of them (UGT72X4, UGT72Z3, UGT73C20, UGT88A13, UGT88E19 and UGT92G4) exhibited activity toward flavonol, isoflavone, flavone and flavanol aglycones with different kinetic properties. Among them, UGT72X4, UGT72Z3 and UGT92G4 are flavonol-specific UGTs, and UGT73C20 and UGT88E19 exhibited activity toward both flavonol and isoflavone aglycones. In particular, UGT88A13 exhibited activity toward epicatechin, but not for the flavonol aglycones kaempferol and quercetin. Overexpression of these six GmUGT genes significantly increased the contents of isoflavone and flavonol glucosides in soybean hairy roots. In addition, overexpression of these six GmUGT genes also affected flavonol glycoside contents differently in seedlings and seeds of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. We provide valuable information on the identification of all UGT genes in soybean, and candidate GmUGT genes for potential metabolic engineering of flavonoid compounds in both Escherichia coli and plants.

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