Functional identification of AtTPS03 as (E)-beta-ocimene synthase: a monoterpene synthase catalyzing jasmonate- and wound-induced volatile formation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Planta. 2003 Mar;216(5):745-51. doi: 10.1007/s00425-002-0924-0. Epub 2002 Oct 25.


(E)-beta-Ocimene is one of the most commonly found monoterpenes of the volatile blends that are emitted from leaves in response to damage by herbivores or mechanical wounding. (E)-beta-Ocimene is also a component of many floral scents. Airborne (E)-beta-ocimene emitted from plants can serve as a chemical cue for the attraction of parasitoids or predators of plant herbivores and also as an attractant for pollinating insects. Furthermore, exposure of plants to (E)-beta-ocimene can activate defense gene expression. In this paper, we describe cDNA cloning and functional characterization of a gene encoding a highly specialized (E)-beta-ocimene synthase, AtTPS03, from Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. AtTPS03 was identified as a member of the large AtTPS gene family of putative terpene synthases. A cDNA for AtTPS03 was expressed in Escherichia coli and the enzyme function identified in vitro. The A. thaliana (E)-beta-ocimene synthase produces almost exclusively (E)-beta-ocimene (94%) with minor amounts of the related acyclic monoterpenes (Z)-beta-ocimene (4%) and myrcene (2%). Transcripts for AtTPS03 were up-regulated in leaves of Arabidopsis in response to mechanical wounding and treatment with jasmonic acid, concurrent with induced emission of (E)-beta-ocimene. AtTPS03 provides an important gene for probing plant-insect and possibly plant-plant interactions mediated by terpenoid volatiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Alkenes / chemistry
  • Alkenes / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cyclopentanes / metabolism*
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Intramolecular Lyases / genetics*
  • Intramolecular Lyases / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monoterpenes / metabolism*
  • Oxylipins
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Volatilization


  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Alkenes
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cyclopentanes
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oxylipins
  • beta-ocimene
  • jasmonic acid
  • Intramolecular Lyases
  • TPS10 protein, Arabidopsis

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY151086