Lupins (Lupinus spp.) are nitrogen-fixing legumes that accumulate toxic alkaloids in their protein-rich beans. These anti-nutritional compounds belong to the family of quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs), which are of interest to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. To unleash the potential of lupins as protein crops and as sources of QAs, a thorough understanding of the QA pathway is needed. However, only the first enzyme in the pathway, lysine decarboxylase (LDC), is known. Here, we report the transcriptome of a high-QA variety of narrow-leafed lupin (L. angustifolius), obtained using eight different tissues and two different sequencing technologies. In addition, we present a list of 33 genes that are closely co-expressed with LDC and that represent strong candidates for involvement in lupin alkaloid biosynthesis. One of these genes encodes a copper amine oxidase able to convert the product of LDC, cadaverine, into 1-piperideine, as shown by heterologous expression and enzyme assays. Kinetic analysis revealed a low KM value for cadaverine, supporting a role as the second enzyme in the QA pathway. Our transcriptomic data set represents a crucial step towards the discovery of enzymes, transporters, and regulators involved in lupin alkaloid biosynthesis.© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.
Journal: Journal of experimental botany