Molecular cloning and characterization of a cDNA encoding ent-cassa-12,15-diene synthase, a putative diterpenoid phytoalexin biosynthetic enzyme, from suspension-cultured rice cells treated with a chitin elicitor


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We have isolated and characterized a cDNA encoding a novel diterpene cyclase, OsDTC1, from suspension-cultured rice cells treated with a chitin elicitor. OsDTC1 functions as ent-cassa-12,15-diene synthase, which is considered to play a key role in the biosynthesis of (−)-phytocassanes recently isolated as rice diterpenoid phytoalexins. The expression of OsDTC1 mRNA was also confirmed in ultraviolet (UV)-irradiated rice leaves. In addition, we identified ent-cassa-12,15-diene, a putative diterpene hydrocarbon precursor of (−)-phytocassanes, as an endogenous compound in the chitin-elicited suspension-cultured rice cells and the UV-irradiated rice leaves. The OsDTC1 cDNA isolated here will be a useful tool to investigate the regulatory mechanisms of the biosyntheis of (−)-phytocassanes in rice.