As a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of flavonols, anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins, flavanone-3-hydroxylase (F3H) plays very important roles in plant stress response. A putative flavanone-3-hydroxylase gene from Medicago truncatula (MtF3H), a model legume species, was identified from a bio-data analysis platform. It was speculated to be induced by salt stress based on the outcomes of the analysis platform. The complementary DNA (cDNA) consists of 1499 bp with an open reading frame (ORF) of 1098 bp, which encodes a putative protein of 365 amino acids with a molecular weight of about 41.36 kDa and an isoelectric point of 5.60. To measure the catalytic activity of the protein, the MtF3H gene was ligated to pYES2 vector and heterologously expressed in yeast. The recombinant protein converted naringen into dihydrokaempferol and displayed different enzymatic efficiencies with other flavanones, confirming that MtF3H coding a functional flavanone-3-hydroxylase. The expression pattern of the MtF3H gene was analyzed by comparative quantitative RT-PCR and a higher level of expression was observed in the roots than was observed in stems and leaves. Furthermore, the expression was induced by salt stress in the roots, and to a greater extent in the stems, but the response of the gene activity to salt stress in the stems was slower in the first 12 h following treatment when compared to the roots.
- Flavanone-3-hydroxylase (F3H, FHT)
- Medicago truncatula (barrel medic)
- Salt stress