An Atropa belladonna hyoscyamine 6beta-hydroxylase gene is differentially expressed in the root pericycle and anthers

Plant Mol Biol. 1999 May;40(1):141-52. doi: 10.1023/a:1026465518112.


The AbH6H gene for hyoscyamine 6beta-hydroxylase (H6H), which converts hyoscyamine to scopolamine, was isolated from Atropa belladonna. This plant also possesses a related sequence, Ab psiH6H, which appears to be a non-functional pseudo-gene. AbH6H RNA was detected in cultured root, native root and anther, but not in stem, leaf, pistil, petal, and sepal tissues. In situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and promoter::GUS transgene analysis showed that AbH6H is expressed specifically in root pericycle cells, and in tapetum and pollen mother cells. A 671 bp 5'-upstream region from AbH6H was sufficient for pericycle-specific expression in hairy roots of A. belladonna and Hyoscyamus niger, which both produce scopolamine, but cell-specific regulation was severely compromised in tobacco hairy roots, which do not produce scopolamine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Atropa belladonna / enzymology
  • Atropa belladonna / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Culture Techniques
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genomic Library
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / biosynthesis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Roots / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Roots / enzymology*
  • Plant Shoots / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Shoots / enzymology*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Pseudogenes
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Scopolamine / biosynthesis
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transgenes


  • Scopolamine
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • hyoscyamine (6S)-dioxygenase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB017153
  • GENBANK/AB017154