Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 780–786

The moss Physcomitrella patens releases a tetracyclic diterpene

Physiology and Biochemistry

DOI: 10.1007/s00299-004-0754-6

Cite this article as:
von Schwartzenberg, K., Schultze, W. & Kassner, H. Plant Cell Rep (2004) 22: 780. doi:10.1007/s00299-004-0754-6


The presence of the tetracyclic diterpene 16α-hydroxykaurane (16α-hydroxy-ent-kaurane, C20H34O, CAS 5524–17–4) was detected in sterile cell cultures of the moss Physcomitrella patens (Hedw.) B.S.G. using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. 16α-hydroxykaurane was found to be a major lipid compound in P. patens, with an estimated intracellular concentration of up to 0.84 mmol/l and an extracellular concentration of up to 9.3 µmol/l. The overall content of 16α-hydroxykaurane (in milligrams) produced per culture reached 0.37-fold that of chlorophyll a+b. In agar cultures with low air exchange, 16α-hydroxykaurane forms needle-like crystals on tissue and on the inner surface of the culture vessels, indicating that it is being released into the atmosphere. Solid phase microextraction confirmed the air-bound release of 16α-hydroxykaurane. To our knowledge this is the first report on the release of a plant-derived tetracyclic diterpene into the air.


Physcomitrella patensSaelania glaucescens16α-HydroxykauraneKauranolDiterpene

Supplementary material

ESM 1 A and B Examples of cristal-like structure on P. patens gametophores tissue grown for 16 weeks as agar culture on a petri dish, which was sealed with with parafilm

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. von Schwartzenberg
    • 1
  • W. Schultze
    • 2
  • H. Kassner
    • 1
  1. 1.Biozentrum Klein Flottbek und Botanischer GartenUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut für PharmazieHamburgGermany