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Communication | Special issue | Vol 39, No. 2, 1994, pp.457-465
Published online, 1st January, 1970
DOI: 10.3987/COM-94-S(B)64
Induction of the Secondary Metabolism in Catharanthus roseus Cell Suspension Cultures in Response to UV Irradiation and the Addition of a Benzoic Acid Derivative

Paulo R. H. Moreno, Robert van der Heijden, and Robert Verpoorte*

*Leiden/Amsteerdam Center For Drug Research, Division of Pharmacognosy, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, Einsteinweg 55/P.O.Box9502 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherland


The effects of uv and 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA) on the secondary metabolism of Catharanthus roseus cell suspension cultures were studied. Uv treatment stopped growth and increased phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) activity, decreased geraniol-10-hydroxylase (G10H) activity and inhibited of strictosidine accumulation. Tryptamine accumulation was not affected by uv. DHBA did not affect the culture growth, but induced anthranilate synthase (AS) and strictosidine synthase (SSS) activity. Tryptophan decarboxylase (TDC) activity was only slightly induced. Levels of tryptamine were higher and strictosidine levels lower than in controls. The combined treatment with uv and DHBA caused a decrease of biomass accumulation. It strongly induced AS, TDC, SSS and PAL. Tryptamine accumulation was strongly induced, and G10H was strongly inhibited. Strictosidine was thus rapidly depleted. The effects of the combined treatment might be due to the formation of a toxic compound from DHBA after uv irradiation.