Plant Biotechnology Vol.29 No.2
Jatropha research: A new frontier for biofuel development
Kinya Akashi. . . . . . . 121 [PDF]
Original Papers
Upgraded genomic information of Jatropha curcas L.
Hideki Hirakawa, Suguru Tsuchimoto, Hiroe Sakai, Shinobu Nakayama, Tsunakazu Fujishiro, Yoshie Kishida, Mitsuyo Kohara, Akiko Watanabe, Manabu Yamada, Tomoyuki Aizu, Atsushi Toyoda, Asao Fujiyama, Satoshi Tabata, Kiichi Fukui, Shusei Sato. . . . . . . 123 [PDF] [Supplement1] [Supplement2] [Supplement3] [Supplement4] [Supplement5] [Supplement6] [Supplement7] [Supplement8] [Supplement9]
In order to upgrade the genome sequence information of Jatropha curcas L., we integrated a total of 537 million paired-end reads generated from the Illumina sequencer into the current genome assembly. The total length of the upgraded genome sequences was 298 Mbp consisting of 39,277 contigs. The average lengths of the contigs were increased fourfold from the previous genome assembly. The detailed information on the updated J. curcas genome is available at
Development of KaPPA-View4 for omics studies on Jatropha and a database system KaPPA-Loader for construction of local omics databases
Nozomu Sakurai, Yoshiyuki Ogata, Takeshi Ara, Ryosuke Sano, Nayumi Akimoto, Atsushi Hiruta, Hideyuki Suzuki, Masataka Kajikawa, Utut Widyastuti, Sony Suharsono, Akiho Yokota, Kinya Akashi, Jun Kikuchi, Daisuke Shibata. . . . . . . 131 [PDF] [Supplement]
Transcriptome and metabolome analyses of Jatropha have been reported in recent years. To help intuitive understanding of these 'omics' data, we constructed a web tool, KaPPA-View4-Jatropha (, by which the omics data are visualized on the metabolic pathway maps. An unique function to overlay gene co-expressions on the maps helps for discovering novel gene functions. We also released a database system, KaPPA-Loader, to share the omics data in research communities.
Original Paper
Development of transgenic plants in jatropha with drought tolerance
Suguru Tsuchimoto, Joyce Cartagena, Naruemon Khemkladngoen, Suthitar Singkaravanit, Tsutomu Kohinata, Naoki Wada, Hiroe Sakai, Yoshihiko Morishita, Hideyuki Suzuki, Daisuke Shibata, Kiichi Fukui. . . . . . . 137 [PDF]
Three kinds of transgenic jatropha plants were generated to improve their drought tolerance. The first one overexpresses the PPAT gene, which encodes an enzyme that catalyzes the coenzyme A biosynthetic pathway; the second overexpresses the NF-YB gene, which encodes a subunit of the NF-Y transcription factor; and the last overexpresses the GSMT and DMT genes, which encode enzymes that catalyze production of glycine betaine. A modified protocol that improves the efficiency of shoot regeneration and root induction in transgenic jatropha is also reported.
Establishment of bispyribac selection protocols for Agrobacterium tumefaciens- and Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation of the oil seed plant Jatropha curcas L.
Masataka Kajikawa, Kaoru Morikawa, Masayo Inoue, Utut Widyastuti, Sony Suharsono, Akiho Yokota, Kinya Akashi. . . . . . . 145 [PDF] [Supplement]
Cultivation of biofuel plant Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) has spread around the world because of its drought resistance, high seed oil content and adaptability to different environmental conditions. A reliable and efficient protocol for genetic transformation of Jatropha is a prerequisite for molecular biology research and breeding on this plant. Here, we developed effective stable transformation and cultured hairy root systems in which a herbicide bispyribac sodium salt and its resistant gene encoding two-point-mutated acetolactate synthase were used for selection of the transformants.
Photosynthetic gas exchange characteristics in Jatropha curcas L.
Yasunori Fukuzawa, Jun Tominaga, Kinya Akashi, Shin Yabuta, Masami Ueno, Yoshinobu Kawamitsu. . . . . . . 155 [PDF]
Studies on the physiological characteristics and growth analysis in Jatropha curcas L., an energy plant, have received considerably lesser attention. In the present study, to confirm the physiological characteristics of Jatropha, we measured the leaf gas exchange characteristics in response to various environmental conditions. The optimal environmental conditions for leaf photosynthesis in Jatropha plants were at 500-1,000 μmol m-2 s-1 of photon flux density, 1.5 kPa or less of vapor pressure difference and 25-30°C of leaf temperature. Based on the data, field performance of Jatropha under severe environmental conditions was discussed.
Spectroscopic investigation of tissue-specific biomass profiling for Jatropha curcas L.
Taiji Watanabe, Amiu Shino, Kinya Akashi, Jun Kikuchi. . . . . . . 163 [PDF]
Jatropha curcas L. is a potential source of biodiesel and biomass. In this study, jatropha biomass was characterized according to eight samples: leaf, stem, bark, xylem, pith, seed coat and kernel, and characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Xylem and seed coat accumulates more lignin while leaf, pith and bark accumulate more cellulose and hemicellulose. Pith on the other hand have low rate of lignocellulose.
Comparative metabolome analysis of seed kernels in phorbol ester-containing and phorbol ester-free accessions of Jatropha curcas L.
Misato Ohtani, Yoshimi Nakano, Toru Usami, Taku Demura. . . . . . . 171 [PDF] [Supplement]
Jatropha curcas L. (Jatropha) is a promising source of renewable bioenergy, since its abundant seed oil can readily be converted into biodiesel. However, industrial use of Jatropha seed oil is problematic, because of the involvement of toxic compounds, such as phorbol esters (PEs). In this paper, we characterized the metabolome of seed kernels from PE-containing and PE-free accessions of Jatropha, through LC-Orbitrap-MS system. Our results indicate that PE-containing and PE- free Jatropha are broadly similar in their metabolism, but that the PE-containing accessions undergo PE biosynthesis.
Dynamic metabolic changes during fruit maturation in Jatropha curcas L.
Ryosuke Sano, Takeshi Ara, Nayumi Akimoto, Nozomu Sakurai, Hideyuki Suzuki, Yasunori Fukuzawa, Yoshinobu Kawamitsu, Masami Ueno, Daisuke Shibata. . . . . . . 175 [PDF] [Supplement1] [Supplement2]
To understand how metabolism changes during fruit maturation in Jatropha curcas L., we performed a comparative metabolome analysis of Jatropha developing fruit using liquid chromatography-Orbitrap-mass spectrometry. With the accurate mass measurement, ion peak data extracted from the chromatograms suggested that a substantial decrease in the total number of detected metabolites as well as dynamic meatbolic changes occur during fruit maturation.
Characterization of Jatropha curcas lignins
Masaomi Yamamura, Kinya Akashi, Akiho Yokota, Takefumi Hattori, Shiro Suzuki, Daisuke Shibata, Toshiaki Umezawa. . . . . . . 179 [PDF]
Lignins of Jatropha curcas organs were quantitatively and qualitatively characterized by thioglycolic acid, thioacidolysis, and nitrobenzene oxidation methods. The seed coat has the highest lignin content (49.4%) among organs. Lignins of all organs were composed of guaiacyl and syringyl units. In addition, the ratios of syringyl to guaiacyl lignins in the fruit coat and stem were higher than those in other organs. This study provides data for the total utilization of J. curcas wood.
Characterization of the casbene synthase homolog from Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.)
Yoshimi Nakano, Misato Ohtani, Wipada Polsri, Toru Usami, Kazuo Sambongi, Taku Demura. . . . . . . 185 [PDF] [Supplement]
Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) seeds are rich in oil. However, they also contain antinutrients and various toxins such as phorbol esters (PEs). In this study, since CS has been hypothesized to catalyze the first step of phorbol biosynthesis, a Jatropha curcas casbene synthase homolog (JcCSH) was cloned from Jatropha leaf tissue for better understanding of PE biosynthesis.