Background: Osmanthus fragrans is an important ornamental tree and has been widely planted in China because of its pleasant aroma, which is mainly due to terpenes. The monoterpenoid and sesquiterpenoid metabolic pathways of sweet osmanthus have been well studied. However, these studies were mainly focused on volatile small molecule compounds. The molecular regulation mechanism of synthesis of large molecule compounds (triterpenoids) remains unclear. Squalene synthase (SQS), squalene epoxidase (SQE), and beta-amyrin synthase (BETA-AS) are three critical enzymes of the triterpenoid biosynthesis pathway. Results: In this study, the full-length cDNA and gDNA sequences of OfSQS, OfSQE, and OfBETA-AS were isolated from sweet osmanthus. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that OfSQS and OfSQE had the closest relationship with Sesamum indicum, and OfBETA-AS sequence shared the highest similarity of 99% with that of Olea europaea. The qRT-PCR analysis revealed that the three genes were highly expressed in flowers, especially OfSQE and OfBETA-AS, which were predominantly expressed in the flowers of both “Boye” and “Rixiang” cultivars, suggesting that they might play important roles in the accumulation of triterpenoids in flowers of O. fragrans. Furthermore, the expression of OfBETA-AS in the two cultivars was significantly different during all the five flowering stages; this suggested that OfBETA-AS may be the critical gene for the differences in the accumulation of triterpenoids. Conclusion: The evidence indicates that OfBETA-AS could be the key gene in the triterpenoid synthesis pathway, and it could also be used as a critical gene resource in the synthesis of essential oils by using bioengineered bacteria. How to cite: Yang X, Ding W, Yue Y, et al. Cloning and expression analysis of three critical triterpenoids pathway genes in Osmanthus fragrans. Electron J Biotechnol 2018;36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejbt.2018.08.007.
Yang, X., Ding, W., Yue, Y., Xu, C., Wang, X., & Wang, L. (2018). Cloning and expression analysis of three critical triterpenoid pathway genes in Osmanthus fragrans. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, 36, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejbt.2018.08.007