|Production of Saffron Apocarotenoids in Nicotiana benthamiana Plants Genome-Edited to Accumulate Zeaxanthin Precursor
|Articolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
|Year of Publication
|Demurtas, Olivia Costantina, Sulli Maria, Ferrante Paola, Mini P., Martí Maricarmen, Aragonés Verónica, Daròs José-Antonio, and Giuliano Giovanni
|Type of Article
Crocins are glycosylated apocarotenoids with strong coloring power and anti-oxidant, anticancer, and neuro-protective properties. We previously dissected the saffron crocin biosynthesis pathway, and demonstrated that the CsCCD2 enzyme, catalyzing the carotenoid cleavage step, shows a strong preference for the xanthophyll zeaxanthin in vitro and in bacterio. In order to investigate substrate specificity in planta and to establish a plant-based bio-factory system for crocin production, we compared wild-type Nicotiana benthamiana plants, accumulating various xanthophylls together with α- and β-carotene, with genome-edited lines, in which all the xanthophylls normally accumulated in leaves were replaced by a single xanthophyll, zeaxanthin. These plants were used as chassis for the production in leaves of saffron apocarotenoids (crocins, picrocrocin) using two transient expression methods to overexpress CsCCD2: agroinfiltration and inoculation with a viral vector derived from tobacco etch virus (TEV). The results indicated the superior performance of the zeaxanthin-accumulating line and of the use of the viral vector to express CsCCD2. The results also suggested a relaxed substrate specificity of CsCCD2 in planta, cleaving additional carotenoid substrates. © 2023 by the authors.
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