The β-Ketoacyl-CoA Synthase Hv KCS1, Encoded by Cer-zh, Plays a Key Role in Synthesis of Barley Leaf Wax and Germination of Barley Powdery Mildew

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The cuticle coats the primary aerial surfaces of land plants. It consists of cutin and waxes, which provide protection against desiccation, pathogens and herbivores. Acyl cuticular waxes are synthesized via elongase complexes that extend fatty acyl precursors up to 38 carbons for downstream modification pathways. The leaves of 21 barley eceriferum (cer) mutants appear to have less or no epicuticular wax crystals, making these mutants excellent tools for identifying elongase and modification pathway biosynthetic genes. Positional cloning of the gene mutated in cer-zh identified an elongase component, β-ketoacyl-CoA synthase (CER-ZH/HvKCS1) that is one of 34 homologous KCSs encoded by the barley genome. The biochemical function of CER-ZH was deduced from wax and cutin analyses and by heterologous expression in yeast. Combined, these experiments revealed that CER-ZH/HvKCS1 has a substrate specificity for C 16 -C 20, especially unsaturated, acyl chains, thus playing a major role in total acyl chain elongation for wax biosynthesis. The contribution of CER-ZH to water barrier properties of the cuticle and its influence on the germination of barley powdery mildew fungus were also assessed.


  • Chao Li
  • Tegan M. Haslam
  • Anna Krger
  • Lizette M. Schneider
  • Kohei Mishina
  • Lacey Samuels
  • Hongxing Yang
  • Ljerka Kunst
  • Ulrich Schaffrath
  • Christiane Nawrath
  • Guoxiong Chen
  • Takao Komatsuda
  • Penny Von Wettstein-Knowles
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources
  • National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences Tsukuba
  • Shanghai Key Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics and Resources
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • University of Lausanne

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Biokemi och molekylärbiologi


Sidor (från-till)806-822
Antal sidor17
TidskriftPlant and Cell Physiology
Utgåva nummer4
StatusPublished - 2018 apr 1
Peer review utfördJa