Planta 2012 Jul 19;236(1):51-61. Epub 2012 Jan 19.
Department of Cell and Metabolic Biology, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Weinberg 3, 06120, Halle (Saale), Germany.
Arabidopsis caffeoyl coenzyme A dependent O-methyltransferase 1 (CCoAOMT1) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase 1 (COMT1) display a similar substrate profile although with distinct substrate preferences and are considered the key methyltransferases (OMTs) in the biosynthesis of lignin monomers, coniferyl and sinapoylalcohol. Whereas CCoAOMT1 displays a strong preference for caffeoyl coenzyme A, COMT1 preferentially methylates 5-hydroxyferuloyl CoA derivatives and also performs methylation of flavonols with vicinal aromatic dihydroxy groups, such as quercetin. Based on different knockout lines, phenolic profiling, and immunohistochemistry, we present evidence that both enzymes fulfil distinct, yet different tasks in Arabidopsis anthers. CCoAOMT1 besides its role in vascular tissues can be localized to the tapetum of young stamens, contributing to the biosynthesis of spermidine phenylpropanoid conjugates. COMT1, although present in the same organ, is not localized in the tapetum, but in two directly adjacent cells layers, the endothecium and the epidermal layer of stamens. In vivo localization and phenolic profiling of comt1 plants provide evidence that COMT1 neither contributes to the accumulation of spermidine phenylpropanoid conjugates nor to the flavonol glycoside pattern of pollen grains.