, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 873-883
Date: 22 Dec 2011

Roles of reactive oxygen species in methyl jasmonate and nitric oxide-induced tanshinone production in Salvia miltiorrhiza hairy roots

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Salvia miltiorrhiza is one of the most popular traditional Chinese medicinal plants for treatment of coronary heart disease. Tanshinones are the main biological active compounds in S. miltiorrhiza. In this study, effects of exogenous methyl jasmonate (MJ) and nitric oxide (NO) on tanshinone production in S. miltiorrhiza hairy roots were investigated and the roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in MJ and NO-induced tanshinone production were elucidated further. The results showed that contents of four tanshinone compounds were significantly increased by 100 μM MJ when compared to the control. Application of 100 μM sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a donor of NO, also resulted in a significant increase of tanshinone production. Expression of two key genes encoding 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGR) and 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR) was up-regulated by MJ and SNP. Generations of O2 and H2O2 were triggered by MJ, but not by SNP. The increase of tanshinone production and up-regulation of HMGR and DXR expression induced by MJ were significantly inhibited by ROS scavengers, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). However, neither SOD nor CAT was able to suppress the SNP-induced increase of tanshinone production and expression of HMGR and DXR gene. In conclusion, tanshinone production was significantly stimulated by MJ and SNP. Of four tanshinone compounds, cryptotanshinone accumulation was most affected by MJ elicitation, while cryptotanshinone and tanshinone IIA accumulation was more affected by SNP elicitation. ROS mediated MJ-induced tanshinone production, but SNP-induced tanshinone production was ROS independent.

Communicated by M. Petersen.
D.-F. Yang is the co-first author.