Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 1-11

First online:

Ri-mediated Transformation of Glycyrrhiza uralensis with a Squalene Synthase Gene (GuSQS1) for Production of Glycyrrhizin

  • Hong-Yu LuAffiliated withDepartment of Breeding and Genetics, China Pharmaceutical University
  • , Jing-Mei LiuAffiliated withChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  • , Hai-Chao ZhangAffiliated withDepartment of Breeding and Genetics, China Pharmaceutical University
  • , Tao YinAffiliated withCollege of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University
  • , Shan-Lin GaoAffiliated withDepartment of Breeding and Genetics, China Pharmaceutical University Email author 

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Root of Glycyrrhiza uralensis, one of the most important medicinal plants, containing bioactive triterpene saponins (glycyrrhizin). Squalene synthase (SQS) plays a regulatory role in the biosynthesis of triterpene saponins. In the present investigation, SQS coding sequence from G. uralensis was cloned by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a transgenic system was developed for G. uralensis through Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation. The SQS gene placed under a CaMV 35S promoter was transferred into G. uralensis using A. rhizogenes strain ACCC10060. The transformed hairy roots were selected on Murashige and Skoog (1962)-containing phosphinothricin (PPT) and root lines were established. The integration of SQS gene was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot. Three transgenic root lines UP1, UP24, UP31 were obtained and their growth rates were detected. The result showed that transgenic root lines but UP1 line grew faster than control hairy roots; high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis demonstrated the highest glycyrrhizin content of transgenic roots was 2.5 mg/g dry weight and was about 2.6 times higher than control hairy roots.


Glycyrrhizin Squalene synthase (SQS) Glycyrrhiza uralensis Hairy roots