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Identification And Characterization Of Sorgomol Synthase In Sorghum Strigolactone Biosynthesis

Takatoshi Wakabayashi, Shunsuke Ishiwa, Kasumi Shida, Noriko Motonami, Hideyuki Suzuki, Hirosato Takikawa, Masaharu Mizutani, Yukihiro Sugimoto

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Abstract Strigolactones (SLs), first identified as germination stimulants for root parasitic weeds, act as endogenous phytohormones regulating shoot branching and as root-derived signal molecules mediating symbiotic communications in the rhizosphere. Canonical SLs typically have an ABCD ring system and can be classified into orobanchol- and strigol-type based on the C-ring stereochemistry. Their simplest structures are 4-deoxyorobanchol (4DO) and 5-deoxystrigol (5DS), respectively. Diverse canonical SLs are chemically modified with one or more hydroxy or acetoxy groups introduced into the A- and/or B-ring of these simplest structures, but the biochemical mechanisms behind this structural diversity remain largely unexplored. Sorgomol in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench) is a strigol-type SL with a hydroxy group at C-9 of 5DS. In this study, we characterized sorgomol synthase. Microsomal fractions prepared from a high-sorgomol-producing cultivar of sorghum, Sudax, were shown to convert 5DS to sorgomol. A comparative transcriptome analysis identified SbCYP728B subfamily as candidate genes encoding sorgomol synthase. Recombinant SbCYP728B35 catalyzed the conversion of 5DS to sorgomol in vitro. Substrate specificity revealed that the C-8bS configuration in the C-ring of 5DS stereoisomers was essential for this reaction. The overexpression of SbCYP728B35 in Lotus japonicus hairy roots, which produce 5DS as an endogenous SL, also resulted in the conversion of 5DS to sorgomol. Furthermore, SbCYP728B35 expression was not detected in nonsorgomol-producing cultivar, Abu70, suggesting that this gene is responsible for sorgomol production in sorghum. Identification of the mechanism modifying parental 5DS of strigol-type SLs provides insights on how plants biosynthesize diverse SLs.