Biosynthesis of tovarol and other sesquiterpenoids in Thapsia laciniata Rouy

Trine Bundgaard Andersen, Silas Anselm Rasmussen, Søren Brøgger Christensen, Henrik Toft Simonsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The genus Thapsia produces a wide variety of sesquiterpenoids. The Mediterranean plant Thapsia laciniata Rouy is known to have a product profile that differs from several other species in the genus. Thus, the biosynthesis of sesquiterpenoids in Thapsia laciniata Rouy was investigated. Here we describe three terpene synthases, TlTPS820, TlTPS509 and TlTPS18983. TlTPS18983 is a multi-product enzyme with farnesene as the major product, while TlTPS509 produces guaiol and bulnesol along with other major and several minor unknown products. TlTPS820 is orthologous to TgTPS2 from Thapsia garganica L. and is an epikunzeaol synthase. TgCYP76AE2 from Thapsia garganica performs a triple hydroxylation of epikunzeaol at C-12 to make dihydrocostunolide. It was therefore investigated if the cytochrome P450, TlCYP76AE4 was able to use epikunzeaol as a substrate. It was found that TlCYP76AE4 hydroxylates epikunzeaol at C-8 to yield tovarol instead of dihydrocostunolide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-174
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Apiaceae
  • Bulnesol
  • CYP76AE4
  • Epikunzeaol
  • Guaiol
  • Sesquiterpenoid
  • Thapsia laciniata
  • Tovarol


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