Functional kaurene-synthase-like diterpene synthases lacking a gamma domain are widely present in Oryza and related species

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2021 Aug 25;85(9):1945-1952. doi: 10.1093/bbb/zbab127.


Various diterpene synthases have been functionally identified in cultivated rice (Oryza sativa). These are the homologs of ent-copalyl diphosphate (ent-CDP) synthase and ent-kaurene synthase (KS) that are responsible for the biosynthesis of gibberellins, diterpenoid phytohormones. We isolated a cDNA encoding full-length OsKSL12, a previously uncharacterized KS like (KSL) enzyme that consists of a β-domain and an α-domain with an active center, but lacks an N-terminal γ-domain. Functional analysis using a bacterial expression system showed that recombinant OsKSL12 converted ent-CDP into ent-manool or ent-13-epi-manool. Comparative genomics revealed that functional OsKSL12 homologs exist in diverse wild species in the Oryzeae-Oryza nivara (Oryza rufipogon), Oryza coarctata, Oryza granulata, Leersia perrieri, and Leersia tisseranti. KSL12 homologs in O. granulata, L. perrieri, and L. tisseranti preferentially reacted with geranylgeranyl diphosphate rather than ent-CDP, resulting in geranyllinalool rather than ent-manool or ent-13-epi-manool as the main product, meaning that KSL12 functionally diversified during evolution in the Oryzeae.

Keywords: biosynthesis; diterpene synthase; evolution; rice; wild species.

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / analysis*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Diterpenes / chemistry*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Plant
  • Oryza / enzymology*
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Domains


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Diterpenes
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • ent-kaurene synthetase B