Abscisic (ABA)-aldehyde is a precursor to, and 1′,4′-trans-ABA-diol a catabolite of, ABA in apple

Christopher D. Rock, Jan A.D. Zeevaart

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Previous 18O labeling studies of abscisic acid (ABA) have shown that apple (Malus domestica Borkh. cv Granny Smith) fruits synthesize a majority of [18O]ABA with the label incorporated in the 1′ -hydroxyl position and unlabeled in the carboxyl group (JAD Zeevaart, TG Heath, DA Gage [1989] Plant Physiol 91: 1594-1601). It was proposed that exchange of 18O in the side chain with the medium occurred at an aldehyde intermediate stage of ABA biosynthesis. We have isolated ABA-aldehyde and 1′-4′-trans-ABA-diol (ABA-trans-diol) from 18O-labeled apple fruit tissue and measured the extent and position of 18O incorporation by tandem mass spectrometry. 18O-Labeling patterns of ABA-aldehyde, ABA-trans-diol, and ABA indicate that ABA-aldehyde is a precursor to, and ABA-trans-diol a catabolite of, ABA. Exchange of 18O in the carbonyl of ABA-aldehyde can be the cause of loss of 18O from the side chain of [18O]ABA. Results of feeding experiments with deuterated substrates provide further support for the precursor-product relationship of ABA-aldehyde → ABA → ABA-trans-diol. The ABA-aldehyde and ABA-trans-diol contents of fruits and leaves were low, approximately 1 and 0.02 nanograms per gram fresh weight for ABA-aldehyde and ABA-trans-diol, respectively, while ABA levels in fruits ranged from 10 to 200 nanograms per gram fresh weight. ABA biosynthesis was about 10-fold lower in fruits than in leaves. In fruits, the majority of ABA was conjugated to β-D-glucopyranosyl abscisate, whereas in leaves ABA was mainly hydroxylated to phaseic acid. Parallel pathways for ABA and trans-ABA biosynthesis and conjugation in fruits and leaves are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-923
Number of pages9
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1990


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