CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of the mediator complex subunits MED5a and MED5b genes impaired secondary metabolite accumulation in hop (Humulus lupulus)

Praveen Awasthi, Ajay Kumar Mishra, Tomáš Kocábek, Vishnu Sukumari Nath, Sagarika Mishra, Khaled M. Hazzouri, Naganeeswaran Sudalaimuthuasari, Natasa Stajner, Jernej Jakše, Karel Krofta, Tomáš Hájek, Khaled MA Amiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) is an important commercial crop known for the biosynthesis of valuable specialized secondary metabolites in glandular trichomes (lupulin glands), which are used for the brewing industry. To achieve burgeoning market demands is the essentiality of comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in hop. Over the past year, several studies using structural biology and functional genomics approaches have shown that Mediator (MED) serves as an integrative hub for RNAP II-mediated transcriptional regulation of various physiological and cellular processes, including involvement of MED5a and MED5b in hyperaccumulation of phenylpropanoid in A. thaliana. In the present work, an unprecedented attempt was made to generate Hlmed5a/med5b double loci mutant lines in hop using a CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing system. The Hlmed5a/med5b double loci mutant lines showed reduced expression of structural genes of the flavonoid, humulone, and terpenoid biosynthetic pathways, which was more pronounced in the lupulin gland compared to leaf tissue and was consistent with their reduced accumulation. Phenotypic and anatomical observations revealed that Hlmed5a/med5b double loci mutant line exhibited robust growth, earlier flowering, earlier cone maturity, reduced cone size, variations in floral structure patterns, and distorted lupulin glands without any remarkable changes in leaf morphology, intensity of leaf color, and chlorophyll content. Comparative transcriptome analysis of leaf and lupulin gland tissues indicates that the expression of enzymatic genes related to secondary metabolite biosynthesis, phytohormone biosynthesis, floral organs, flowering time, and trichome development, including other genes related to starch and sucrose metabolism and defense mechanisms, were differentially modulated in the Hlmed5a/med5b lines. The combined results from functional and transcriptomic analyses illuminates the pivotal function of HlMED5a and HlMED5b in homeostasis of secondary meatbolites accumulation in hop.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107851
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Bitter acids
  • Chalcone synthase
  • Flavonoids
  • Humulus lupulus
  • Mediator complex
  • Transcription regulation
  • Transcriptome analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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