Effects of methyl jasmonate and salicylic acid on tanshinone production and biosynthetic gene expression in transgenic Salvia miltiorrhiza hairy roots

Xiaolong Hao, Min Shi, Lijie Cui, Chao Xu, Yanjie Zhang, Guoyin Kai
Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry 2015, 62 (1): 24-31
Tanshinone is a group of active diterpenes, which are widely used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. In this study, methyl jasmonate (MJ) and salicylic acid (SA) were used to investigate their effects on tanshinone accumulation and biosynthetic gene expression in the hairy roots of geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (SmGGPPS) overexpression line (G50) in Salvia miltiorrhiza. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that total tanshinone content in G50 was obviously increased by 3.10-fold (11.33 mg/g) with MJ at 36 H and 1.63 times (5.95 mg/g) after SA treatment for 36 H in comparison with their mimic treatment control. Furthermore, quantitative reverse-transcription PCR analysis showed that the expression of isopentenyl-diphosphate delta-isomerase (SmIPPI), SmGGPPS, copalyl diphosphate synthase (SmCPS), and kaurene synthase-like (SmKSL) increased significantly with MJ treatment. However, the expression of SmIPPI reached the highest level at 144 H, whereas those of SmGGPPS, SmCPS, and SmKSL only increased slightly with SA treatment. The two elicitor treatments suggested that tanshinone accumulation positively correlated to the expression of key genes such as SmGGPPS, SmCPS, and SmKSL. Meanwhile, the study also indicated that it was a feasible strategy to combine elicitor treatment with transgenic technology for the enhancement of tanshinone, which paved the way for further metabolic engineering of tanshinone biosynthesis.

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