Cyclotide host-defense tailored for species and environments in violets from the Canary Islands.

Slazak B, Kaltenböck K, Steffen K, Rogala M, Rodríguez-Rodríguez P, Nilsson A, Shariatgorji R, Andrén PE, Göransson U

Sci Rep 11 (1) 12452 [2021-06-14; online 2021-06-14]

Cyclotides are cyclic peptides produced by plants. Due to their insecticidal properties, they are thought to be involved in host defense. Violets produce complex mixtures of cyclotides, that are characteristic for each species and variable in different environments. Herein, we utilized mass spectrometry (LC-MS, MALDI-MS), transcriptomics and biological assays to investigate the diversity, differences in cyclotide expression based on species and different environment, and antimicrobial activity of cyclotides found in violets from the Canary Islands. A wide range of different habitats can be found on these islands, from subtropical forests to dry volcano peaks at high altitudes. The islands are inhabited by the endemic Viola palmensis, V. cheiranthifolia, V. anagae and the common V. odorata. The number of cyclotides produced by a given species varied in plants from different environments. The highest diversity was noted in V. anagae which resides in subtropical forest and the lowest in V. cheiranthifolia from the Teide volcano. Transcriptome sequencing and LC-MS were used to identify 23 cyclotide sequences from V. anagae. Cyclotide extracts exhibited antifungal activities with the lowest minimal inhibitory concentrations noted for V. anagae (15.62 μg/ml against Fusarium culmorum). The analysis of the relative abundance of 30 selected cyclotides revealed patterns characteristic to both species and populations, which can be the result of genetic variability or environmental conditions in different habitats. The current study exemplifies how plants tailor their host defense peptides for various habitats, and the usefulness of cyclotides as markers for chemosystematics.

Spatial Mass Spectrometry [Collaborative]

PubMed 34127703

DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-91555-y

Crossref 10.1038/s41598-021-91555-y

pii: 10.1038/s41598-021-91555-y
pmc: PMC8203695

Publications 7.1.2