EssOilDB: a database of essential oils reflecting terpene composition and variability in the plant kingdom.
Bottom Line: The potential biological information stored in essential oil composition data can provide an insight into the silent language of plants, and the roles of these chemical emissions in defense, communication and pollinator attraction.EssOilDB presently contains 123 041 essential oil records spanning a century of published reports on volatile profiles, with data from 92 plant taxonomic families, spread across diverse geographical locations all over the globe.EssOilDB would serve as a valuable information resource, for students and researchers in plant biology, in the design and discovery of new odor profiles, as well as for entrepreneurs--the potential for generating consumer specific scents being one of the most attractive and interesting topics in the cosmetic industry.
Affiliation: Computational Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi 110067 India.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: As an illustrative example, we have used EssOilDB to carry out an assessment of the relationship between terpene biosynthetic pathways and actual emission records. The biosynthesis of monoterpenes and diterpenes is conventionally believed to be compartmentalized in plastidial territory of the plant where the 2C-Methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway is known to be located. In contrast, sesquiterpenes and triterpenes are supposed to be synthesized in cytosol through classical mevalonic acid (MVA) pathway (27). This assumption is further supported by recent studies on promoter analysis in Arabidopsis thaliana that suggest an abundance of light and circadian clock related motifs in MEP pathway gene promoters reflecting higher expression of this pathway in green tissues as compared to MVA pathway (28). Spatiotemporal expression analysis of genes encoding farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (FPPS), geranyl pyrophospate synthase (GPPS) and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase (GGPPS) in A. thaliana have also supported the fact that photosynthetic tissues have higher expression of AtGPPS and AtGGPPS genes; generally assumed to synthesize monoterpenes and diterpenes respectively. In contrast, the AtFPPS gene, which is responsible for the biosynthesis of sesquiterpenes, showed higher activity in roots and seeds as compared to above ground, green parts (28). We used EssOilDB to test this hypothesis and found that green parts of plants (that are likely to have a more active plastidial MEP pathway) do indeed show relatively greater amounts of released hemi, mono and diterpenes, as compared to sesquiterpenes. In contrast, the non-green plant parts, such as the underground regions and woody parts (signifying an absence of plastidial units and therefore a less active MEP pathway) release higher amounts of sesquiterpenes as compared to monoterpenes. This has been depicted in Figure 5A, with emission data records from green (plastidial) parts, leaves, fruits and flowers releasing a higher percentage of monoterpenes as compared to sesquiterpenes, whereas roots and bark or woody parts release more sesquiterpenes, thus significantly adding value to the hypothesis.Figure 5.
Affiliation: Computational Biology Laboratory, National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi 110067 India.