Metabolic engineering of colour and scent

Petunia hybrida cv. V26 (left) and W115 (right) both make volatile benzenoid/phenylpropanoids. V26 also produces anthocyanins, but earlier in floral development (Verdonk et al., 2005). Volatiles and anthocyanins in petunia, are both phenylpropanoid pathway derived. Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase (PAL) is the first step of pathway. Whole plant knockout may be lethal or have a severe phenotype at least, tissue specific expression and CRISPR is a possible way to study gene function w/o these severe phenotypical consequences. Over expression of biosynthetic genes and regulators can lead to alternative floral scent profiles.

Used skills

Postharvest Phys. Techniques:

  • Cloning (tissue specific knock out constructs, CRISPR, Golden Gate, Gateway, and traditional cloning)
  • Tissue culture:
  • Plant transformation: Stable, transient, protoplast transformation
  • Molecular biology: DNA, RNA, RT-(q)PCR, Cloning
  • Metabolite analysis: HPLC, GC-MS
  • Enzyme assays
  • Cell biology: subcellular localization of compounds (Anthocyanins located in the vacuole, Carotenoids in the chromoplasts)

Interested in doing a BSc or MSc thesis at HPP? Please contact the HPP student coordinator Katharina Hanika.