- As a means to maintain their sessile lifestyle amid challenging environments, plants produce an enormous diversity of compounds as chemical defenses against biotic and abiotic insults. The underpinning metabolic pathways that support the biosynthesis of these specialized chemicals in divergent plant species provide a rich arena for understanding the molecular evolution of complex metabolic traits. Rosmarinic acid (RA) is a phenolic natural product first discovered in plants of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is recognized for its wide range of medicinal properties and potential applications in human dietary and medical interventions.
- The secoiridoids are the main class of specialized metabolites present in olive (Olea europaea L.) fruit. In particular, the secoiridoid oleuropein strongly influences olive oil quality because of its bitterness, which is a desirable trait. In addition, oleuropein possesses a wide range of pharmacological properties, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activities. In accordance, obtaining high oleuropein varieties is a main goal of molecular breeding programs. Here we use a transcriptomic approach to identify candidate genes belonging to the secoiridoid pathway in olive.