Induction of phenylpropanoid pathway enzymes in elicitor-treated cultures of Cephalocereus senilis

Paul W. Paré, Charles F. Mischke, Robert Edwards, Rchard A. Dixon, Helen A. Norman, Tom J. Mabry

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17 Scopus citations


Treatment of old-man-cactus (Cephalocereus senilis) suspension cultures with chitin elicits synthesis of an aurone phytoalexin, cephalocerone. Elicitor-induced de novo synthesis of cephalocerone was demonstrated by incubating elicited cactus cultures with [3H]phenylalanine; this resulted in the labelling of five induced phenolic compounds including cephalocerone. Increased extractable activities of the phenylpropanoid pathway enzymes phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), chalcone synthase (CHS) and chalcone isomerase (CHI) accompanied the synthesis of cephalocerone. CHS and PAL, which are both involved in the biosynthesis of cephalocerone, showed maximum activity at 12 and 24 hr post-elicitation, respectively. CHS and CHI activities catalysing the synthesis and subsequent isomerization of 2′,4′,6′-trihydroxychalcone were present in the cell cultures, consistent with the formation of cephalocerone via a chalcone with no B-ring substituents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


  • Cactaceae
  • Cephalocereus senilis
  • HPLC.
  • aurone
  • enzyme induction
  • phytoalexin
  • suspension culture


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