The apple gene responsible for columnar tree shape reduces the abundance of biologically active gibberellin

Daichi Watanabe, Ikuo Takahashi, Naiyanate Jaroensanti-Tanaka, Sho Miyazaki, Kai Jiang, Masaru Nakayasu, Masato Wada, Tadao Asami, Masaharu Mizutani, Kazuma Okada, Masatoshi Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Ectopic expression of the apple 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase (DOX, 2ODD) gene, designated MdDOX-Co, is thought to cause the columnar shape of apple trees. However, the mechanism underlying the formation of such a unique tree shape remains unclear. To solve this problem, we demonstrated that Arabidopsis thaliana overexpressing MdDOX-Co contained reduced levels of biologically active gibberellin (GA) compared with wild type. In summary: (i) with biochemical approaches, the gene product MdDOX-Co was shown to metabolize active GA A4 (GA4) to GA58 (12-OH-GA4) in vitro. MdDOX-Co also metabolized its precursors GA12 and GA9 to GA111 (12-OH-GA12) and GA70 (12-OH-GA9), respectively; (ii) Of the three 12-OH-GAs, GA58 was still active physiologically, but not GA70 or GA111; (iii) Arabidopsis MdDOX-Co OE transformants converted exogenously applied deuterium-labeled (d2)-GA12 to d2-GA111 but not to d2-GA58, whereas transformants converted applied d2-GA9 to d2-GA58; (iv) GA111 is converted poorly to GA70 by GA 20-oxidases in vitro when GA12 is efficiently metabolized to GA9; (v) no GA58 was detected endogenously in MdDOX-Co OE transformants. Overall, we conclude that 12-hydroxylation of GA12 by MdDOX-Co prevents the biosynthesis of biologically active GAs in planta, resulting in columnar phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1026-1034
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-oxoglutarate
  • apple
  • columnar
  • dioxygenase
  • gibberellin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The apple gene responsible for columnar tree shape reduces the abundance of biologically active gibberellin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this