, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 179-183

Enhancement of flavour biosynthesis from strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) callus cultures by Methylobacterium species

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Two important character-impact compounds of strawberry flavour, the furanones 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-2H-furan-3-one (DMHF) and 2,5-dimethyl-4-methoxy-2H-furan-3-one (mesifuran) were synthesized by strawberry tissue cultures derived from a cultivated species (Fragaria × ananassa, cv. Elsanta) after these were treated with Methylobacterium extorquens. These flavour compounds were analysed by HPLC-UV and their levels were compared in the treated and control tissues. In Methylobacterium extorquens treated callus cultures DMHF and mesifuran levels were 5.9 and 11.4 µg/g of fresh weight of callus respectively, compared to zero in the untreated ones. When Methylobacterium extorquens was fed with 1,2-propanediol, 2-hydroxy-propanal (lactaldehyde) was formed. This bacterial oxidation of 1,2-propanediol to lactaldehyde linked with the presence of 1,2-propanediol in strawberry suggests that the increased levels of the two furanones in the treated strawberry cultures is the result of Methylobacterium extorquens oxidative activity on 1,2-propanediol and the bioconversion by the plant cells of this oxidation product, lactaldehyde to DMHF and mesifuran.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.