The composition and content of flavones were estimated in pRi T-DNA-transformed skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi) roots obtained by the inoculation of axenically grown seedlings with a wild A4 strain of the soil bacterium Agrobacterium rhizogenes. It was elucidated by analytical and preparative HPLC of phenolic compounds in the extracts from the pRi T-DNA-transformed roots and also by ultraviolet spectroscopy and 1H and 13C NMR that cultured skullcap roots contained similar basic flavones as intact roots of this plant species, i.e., baicalein and wogonin and corresponding glucuronides, baicalin and wogonoside. The content of these flavones in cultured roots was threefold lower than in the roots of intact five-year-old plants. When skullcap roots were cultured on B5 or Murashige and Skoog medium, the ratios between major flavones changed but their total content remained unchanged. The treatment of three-week-old cultured roots with methyl ether of jasmonic acid (MeJa) doubled the total concentration of major flavones in roots; the content of aglycons, baicalein and wogonin, increased to a greater degree, e.g., by 2.3 and 3.3 times, respectively. The induction of flavone production by elicitors indicates that flavones behave as phytoanticipins because major flavones of skullcap manifest a distinct antimicrobial activity. The results of the short-term treatment of skullcap roots with MeJa show that stress biotic factors can considerably increase the content of physiologically active flavones.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 19, 2005
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