High Levels of Tryptamine Accumulation in Transgenic Tobacco Expressing Tryptophan Decarboxylase
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A full-length complementary DNA clone encoding tryptophan decarboxylase (TDC; EC 22.214.171.124) from Catharanthus roseus (De Luca V, Marineau C, Brisson N  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 86: 2582-2586) driven by the CaMV 35S promoter was introduced into tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) to direct the synthesis of the protoalkaloid tryptamine from endogenous tryptophan. Young, fully expanded leaves of CaMV 35S-TDC transformed plants had from four to 45 times greater TDC activity than did controls. Tryptamine accumulated in transgenic plants to levels that were directly proportional to their TDC specific activity. Despite their increased tryptamine content, the growth and development of the CaMV 35S-TDC plants appeared normal with no significant differences in indole-3-acetic acid levels between high tryptamine and control plants. Plants with the highest TDC activity contained more than 1 milligram of tryptamine per gram fresh weight, a 260-fold increase over controls.
author list (cited authors)
Songstad, D. D., De Luca, V., Brisson, N., Kurz, W., & Nessler, C. L.