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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of circadian methyl benzoate emission in diurnally and nocturnally emitting plants.

Emission of methyl benzoate, one of the most abundant scent compounds of bee-pollinated snapdragon flowers, occurs in a rhythmic manner, with maximum emission during the day, and coincides with the foraging activity of bumblebees. Rhythmic emission of methyl benzoate displays a "free-running" cycle in the absence of environmental cues (in continuous dark or continuous light), indicating the circadian nature of diurnal rhythmicity. Methyl benzoate is produced in upper and lower snapdragon petal lobes by enzymatic methylation of benzoic acid in the reaction catalyzed by S-adenosyl-L-methionine:benzoic acid carboxyl methyltransferase (BAMT). When a detailed time-course analysis of BAMT activity in upper and lower petal lobes during a 48-hr period was performed, high BAMT activity was found at night as well as in continuous darkness, indicating that the BAMT activity is not an oscillation-determining factor. Analysis of the level of benzoic acid during a 24-hr period revealed oscillations in the amount of benzoic acid during the daily light/dark cycle that were retained in continuous darkness. These data clearly show that the total amount of substrate (benzoic acid) in the cell is involved in the regulation of the rhythmic emission of methyl benzoate. Our results also suggest that similar molecular mechanisms are involved in the regulation of methyl benzoate production in diurnally (snapdragon) and nocturnally (tobacco and petunia) emitting plants.[1]


  1. Regulation of circadian methyl benzoate emission in diurnally and nocturnally emitting plants. Kolosova, N., Gorenstein, N., Kish, C.M., Dudareva, N. Plant Cell (2001) [Pubmed]
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