• gibberellins;
  • geranyl diphosphate synthase;
  • dwarf;
  • terpenes;
  • virus-induced gene silencing


Geranyl diphosphate synthase (GPS) is generally considered to be responsible for the biosynthesis of monoterpene precursors only. However, reduction of LeGPS expression in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) by virus-induced gene silencing resulted in severely dwarfed plants. Further analysis of these dwarfed plants revealed a decreased gibberellin content, whereas carotenoid and chlorophyll levels were unaltered. Accordingly, the phenotype could be rescued by application of gibberellic acid. The dwarfed phenotype was also obtained in Arabidopsis thaliana plants transformed with RNAi constructs of AtGPS. These results link geranyl diphosphate (GPP) to the gibberellin biosynthesis pathway. They also demand a re-evaluation of the role of GPS in precursor synthesis for other di-, tri-, tetra- and/or polyterpenes and their derivatives.