, Volume 183, Issue 4, pp 536–541 | Cite as

The distribution of strictosidine-synthase activity and alkaloids in Cinchona plants

  • Rob J. Aerts
  • Anthony de Waal
  • Ed J. M. Pennings
  • Rob Verpoorte


The relation between the total alkaloid content and the activity of strictosidine synthase (EC, a key enzyme in alkaloid biosynthesis, was studied in distinct parts of six-month-old plants of Cinchona ledgeriana Moens. Strictosidine-synthase activity was present in the tops of the stems, including the young developing leaflets, and in the roots. The highest alkaloid contents of the plant were also found in these parts; however, the types of alkaloids differed, cinchophyllines being present in the aerial parts and quinoline alkaloids in the roots. In the stem and in old leaves, both strictosidine-synthase activity and alkaloid content were low. These results indicate that in young Cinchona plants the alkaloids are mainly synthesized in the axial extremities of the plant and that they are stored at the site of their synthesis.

Key words

Alkaloid localization Cinchona Stristosidine synthase 



high-performance liquid chromatography


strictosidine synthase


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rob J. Aerts
    • 1
  • Anthony de Waal
    • 1
  • Ed J. M. Pennings
    • 1
  • Rob Verpoorte
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacognosyCenter for Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, Leiden UniversityRA LeidenThe Netherlands

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