Patchouli alcohol is an effective component of the medicinal plant patchouli. Similar to other secondary metabolites, its synthesis is likely also regulated by transcription factors. Although the biosynthetic pathway of patchouli alcohol has been characterized, the regulatory mechanism of patchouli alcohol biosynthesis has not been fully revealed.
This study combined the transcriptome data of patchouli leaves treated with different hormones and WGCNA to establish a coexpression network. The modules correlated to patchouli alcohol content were identified, and PcMYB25 played a crucial role in regulating patchouli alcohol biosynthesis. The overexpression of PcMYB25 can promote the expression of patchouli alcohol synthase (PTS), thereby increasing the content of patchouli alcohol.
This is the first report that MYB25 regulates the secondary metabolism of patchouli. These experimental results lay the foundation for further analysis of the regulatory mechanism of patchouli alcohol synthesis.