Production of Moth Sex Pheromone Precursors in Nicotiana spp. by Agrobacterium-mediated Stable Transformation.
Journal article, 2020

Pheromones are environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional pesticides for pest control. They are widely applied for insect monitoring, mating disruption and mass trapping. Nicotiana benthamiana and N. tabacum are potential green biomass production platforms of moth sex pheromones. Using these two Nicotiana species as plant factories, we expressed biosynthetic genes of plant and insect origin in leaf tissue. Moth sex pheromone precursors (E)-11-tetradecenoic acid, (Z)-11-tetradecenoic acid and (Z)-11-hexadecenoic acid were produced by introducing the acyl-ACP thioesterases CpuFatB1 from Cuphea pulcherrima or CpaFatB2 from C. palustris and the fatty acyl desaturases Ave∆11 from Argyrotaenia velutinana, CpaE11 from Choristoneura parallela or Atr∆11 from Amyelois transitella, under the control of CaMV-35S promoter. Among the Nicotiana spp. transformants, the best line produced (Z)-11-hexadecenoic acid at 17.6% of total fatty acids in leaves, during flowering stage, corresponding to 335 µg of (Z)-11-hexadecenoic acid per gram of fresh leaf. The (Z)-11-hexadecenoic acid production lines from N. benthamiana were selected for further propagation to obtain homozygous lines. In the N. benthamiana T2 generation, the production quantity of (Z)-11-hexadecenoic acid was stable. Our study demonstrates the feasibility of stable transformation of N. benthamiana for production of moth pheromone precursors in vegetative tissue.

Acyl-ACP thioesterase

Stable transformation

Nicotiana spp

Fatty acyl desaturase

Insect pheromone precursors

Pest control


Yihan Xia

Lund University

Baojian Ding

Lund University

Honglei Wang

Lund University

Jarl-Sunesson Carin

Lund University

Per Hofvander

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Christer löfstedt

Lund University

Journal of Pest Science

1612-4758 (ISSN) 1612-4766 (eISSN)

Vol. 93 4 1333-1346

Subject Categories

Agricultural Biotechnology



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7/5/2021 3