A specialized metabolic network selectively modulates Arabidopsis root microbiota

Ancheng C. Huang, Ting Jiang, Yong Xin Liu, Yue Chen Bai, James Reed, Baoyuan Qu, Alain Goossens, Hans Wilhelm Nützmann, Yang Bai, Anne Osbourn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

459 Citations (SciVal)
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Plant specialized metabolites have ecological functions, yet the presence of numerous uncharacterized biosynthetic genes in plant genomes suggests that many molecules remain unknown.We discovered a triterpene biosynthetic network in the roots of the small mustard plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Collectively, we have elucidated and reconstituted three divergent pathways for the biosynthesis of root triterpenes, namely thalianin (seven steps), thalianyl medium-chain fatty acid esters (three steps), and arabidin (five steps). A. thaliana mutants disrupted in the biosynthesis of these compounds have altered root microbiota. In vitro bioassays with purified compounds reveal selective growth modulation activities of pathway metabolites toward root microbiota members and their biochemical transformation and utilization by bacteria, supporting a role for this biosynthetic network in shaping an Arabidopsis-specific root microbial community.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaau6389
Issue number6440
Early online date10 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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