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Molecules 2017, 22(5), 686; doi:10.3390/molecules22050686

Relationship between Expression of Chalcone Synthase Genes and Chromones in Artificial Agarwood induced by Formic Acid Stimulation Combined with Fusarium sp. A2 Inoculation

1
State Key Laboratory of Applied Microbiology Southern China, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Microbial Culture Collection and Application, Guangdong Open Laboratory of Applied Microbiology, Guangdong Institute of Microbiology, Guangzhou 510070, China
2
School of Pharmacy, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, China
3
Sirio Pharma Co., Ltd., Shantou 515041, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 12 March 2017 / Revised: 16 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
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Abstract

Agarwood (gaharu) is a fragrant resin produced in the heartwood of resinous Gyrinops and Aquilaria species. Artificial agarwood samples were obtained from Aquilaria sinensis (Lour.) Gilg using formic acid (FA) stimulation combined with Fusarium sp. A2 inoculation. The relationship between the expression of chalcone synthase genes (CHS) and dynamic changes in chromone content was explored in resin-deposited parts of the trunks of A. sinensis. CHS gene expression levels were detected by qRT-PCR analysis. The chemical composition of agarwood obtained from the heartwood of A. sinensis before and within 1 year after induction was determined by GC-MS. After induction with FA stimulation combined with F. sp. A2 inoculation, the CHS1 gene showed relatively high expression, whereas the CHS2 gene showed low expression. The relative gene expression level of CHS1 peaked at 12 months, with a 153.1-fold increase, and the dominant period of the CHS2 gene expression was 10 months with a 14.13-fold increase. Moreover, chromones were not detected until after 2 months, and a large proportion of chromone compounds were detected after 4 months. Chromone content increased with time and peaked at 12 months. CHS1 gene expression was significantly correlated with 6-hydroxy-2-(2-phenylethyl)chromone accumulation, and CHS2 gene expression was significantly correlated with 5-hydroxy-6-methoxy-2-(2-phenylethyl)chromone accumulation. CHS gene expression was extremely sensitive to FA stimulation combined with F. sp. A2 inoculation and responded to late-onset injury. CHS genes expression also preceded the chromone accumulation. This work laid the foundation for studies on the mechanism by which genes regulate chromone biosynthesis pathways during the formation of agarwood resin in A. sinensis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aquilaria sinensis (Lour.) Gilg; artificial induction; chalcone synthase gene; chromone compound Aquilaria sinensis (Lour.) Gilg; artificial induction; chalcone synthase gene; chromone compound
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, X.; Zhu, X.; Feng, M.; Zhong, Z.; Zhou, X.; Chen, X.; Ye, W.; Zhang, W.; Gao, X. Relationship between Expression of Chalcone Synthase Genes and Chromones in Artificial Agarwood induced by Formic Acid Stimulation Combined with Fusarium sp. A2 Inoculation. Molecules 2017, 22, 686.

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