Transcriptome Profiling of the Australian arid-land Plant Eremophila serrulata for the Identification of Monoterpene synthases

Octavia N. Kracht, Ann-Christin Ammann, Julia Stockmann, D Wibberg, J Kalinowski, M Piotrowski, R Kerr, T. B. Brück, R. Kourist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plant terpenoids are a large and highly diverse class of metabolites with an important role in the immune defense. They find wide industrial application as active pharmaceutical ingredients, aroma and fragrance compounds. Several Eremophila sp. derived terpenoids have been documented. To elucidate the terpenoid metabolism, the transcriptome of juvenile and mature Eremophila serrulata (A.DC.) Druce (Scrophulariaceae) leaves was sequenced and a transcript library was generated. We report on the first transcriptomic dataset of an Eremophila plant. IlluminaMiSeq sequencing (2 × 300 bp) revealed 7,093,266 paired reads, which could be assembled to 34,505 isogroups.

To enable detection of terpene biosynthetic genes, leaves were separately treated with methyl jasmonate, a well-documented inducer of plant secondary metabolites. In total, 21 putative terpene synthase genes were detected in the transcriptome data. Two terpene synthase isoenzymatic genes, termed ES01 and ES02, were successfully expressed in E. coli. The resulting proteins catalyzed the conversion of geranyl pyrophosphate, the universal substrate of monoterpene synthases to myrcene and Z-(b)-ocimene, respectively.

The transcriptomic data and the discovery of the first terpene synthases from Eremophila serrulata are the initial step for the understanding of the terpene metabolism in this medicinally important plant genus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Issue numberApril 2017
Early online date3 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Sesquiterpene
  • Eremophila serrulata

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology


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