Emission of floral volatiles is facilitated by cell-wall non-specific lipid transfer proteins

Pan Liao, Itay Maoz, Meng Ling Shih, Ji Hee Lee, Xing Qi Huang, John A. Morgan, Natalia Dudareva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


For volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to be released from the plant cell into the atmosphere, they have to cross the plasma membrane, the cell wall, and the cuticle. However, how these hydrophobic compounds cross the hydrophilic cell wall is largely unknown. Using biochemical and reverse-genetic approaches combined with mathematical simulation, we show that cell-wall localized non-specific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs) facilitate VOC emission. Out of three highly expressed nsLTPs in petunia petals, which emit high levels of phenylpropanoid/benzenoid compounds, only PhnsLTP3 contributes to the VOC export across the cell wall to the cuticle. A decrease in PhnsLTP3 expression reduces volatile emission and leads to VOC redistribution with less VOCs reaching the cuticle without affecting their total pools. This intracellular build-up of VOCs lowers their biosynthesis by feedback downregulation of phenylalanine precursor supply to prevent self-intoxication. Overall, these results demonstrate that nsLTPs are intrinsic members of the VOC emission network, which facilitate VOC diffusion across the cell wall.
Original languageEnglish
Article number330
Number of pages16
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Emission of floral volatiles is facilitated by cell-wall non-specific lipid transfer proteins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this