Journal Article

Effects of Methyl Jasmonate on Shikonin and Dihydroechinofuran Production in <i>Lithospermum</i> Cell Cultures

Kazufumi Yazaki, Kenta Takeda and Mamoru Tabata

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 38, issue 7, pages 776-782
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.pcp.a029235
Effects of Methyl Jasmonate on Shikonin and Dihydroechinofuran Production in Lithospermum Cell Cultures

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Methyl jasmonate, when administered to Lithospermum erythrorhizon cell suspension cultures, was found to induce the production of shikonin derivatives (the red naph-thoquinone pigments of the root) and dihydroechinofuran (an abnormal metabolite of geranylhydroquinone). Culture experiments showed that methyl jasmonate caused a rapid increase in the activities of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of shikonin such as p-hydroxybenzoate geran-yltransferase, which was followed by the rapid accumulation of dihydroechinofuran and the delayed production of shikonin. The induction patterns observed were similar to those elicited by oligogalacturonides in Lithospermum cells, suggesting that jasmonic acid or its derivative may act as a signaling molecule in the elicitation of shikonin biosynthesis. Interestingly, however, the copper ion, which is essential for inducing shikonin biosynthesis by oligogalacturonides, was not required for shikonin induction by methyl jasmonate

Keywords: Copper ion; Geranyltransferase; Lithospermum erythrorhizon; Methyl jasmonate; Secondary metabolism; Shikonin

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Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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