Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 128, Issue 2, pp 357–368 | Cite as

Elevated CO2 improves growth, modifies anatomy, and modulates essential oil qualitative production and gene expression in Lippia alba (Verbenaceae)

  • Diego Silva Batista
  • Kamila Motta de Castro
  • Andréa Dias Koehler
  • Brenda Neves Porto
  • Anderson Rodrigo da Silva
  • Vinicius Carius de Souza
  • Maria Luisa Teixeira
  • Maria das Graças Cardoso
  • Marcelo de Oliveira Santos
  • Lyderson Facio Viccini
  • Wagner Campos Otoni
Original Article


Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have grown in recent decades and will continue to increase during this century, affecting plant physiology and development. Aiming to evaluate the effect of CO2 elevation on growth, anatomy, essential oil qualitative production and expression of genes related to biosynthesis of these compounds, three chemotypes of Lippia alba (BGEN-01, BGEN-02 and BGEN-42) were cultivated in vitro. Firstly, we focused on the effects of gas exchange in the essential oil profile by comparing three CO2 exchange rates: 14, 21 and 25 µL L−1 s−1 CO2. Continuing, in addition to the previous 14 and 25 µL L−1 s−1 CO2 treatments, plants were placed into acrylic chambers with continuous forced air at 360 and 1000 μL L−1 of CO2; an additional control without allowing gas exchange was added inside the chambers, totaling five treatments with 6 replicates. After 45 days, essential oil profile, histochemical, stomatal density, growth evaluation analyses and transcript analysis were performed. The enrichment with CO2 enhanced plant dry and fresh weight, total chlorophylls and carotenoids in BGEN-01 and BGEN-02, and also increased stomatal density and lignin content for all chemotypes. The multivariate analysis showed that the essential oil profile varied, not only among the different chemotypes, but also within BGEN-01 and BGEN-02 treatments. The qualitative production was different in the treatments with forced air renovation and CO2 enrichment. Regarding the gene expression analyses, Farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (LaFPPS) and Geranyl pyrophosphate synthase (LaGPPS) did not vary, except for the treatments with forced air ventilation (360 and 1000 µL L−1) in the BGEN-01, which had LaFPPS upregulated. Geraniol synthase (LaGES) was upregulated in all BGEN-02 treatments and for BGEN-01 treatments with 360 and 1000 µL L−1 CO2. Nerolidol/Linalool synthase (LaNES/LIS) was upregulated only in the BGEN-01, in the 360 and 1000 µL L−1 CO2 treatments. These findings provide a better understanding of how CO2 regulates secondary metabolites production, providing a basis to clarify the pathway regulation, further enabling the targeted production of essential oils with greater economic and industrial interest.


CO2 enrichment Gas exchange Geraniol synthase Nerolidol synthase RT-qPCR 



The authors thank the Brazilian sponsoring agencies, CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil), FAPEMIG (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais), and CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Ensino Superior), for financial support. We also acknowledge the Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Laboratory—CGMSLab, CAPQ/UFLA for the qualitative analyses of essential oils.

Author contributions

DSB, KMC, ADK, BNP, VCS and MGC conceived, designed and performed the experiments; DSB and KMC raised the in vitro plants for the experiments; MLT, TAS, LIS, DSB, and MGC performed essential oil extractions and analyses; DSB, ARS, MOS, LFV, MGC, and WCO contributed to the design and interpretation of the research and to the writing of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Silva Batista
    • 1
  • Kamila Motta de Castro
    • 1
  • Andréa Dias Koehler
    • 1
  • Brenda Neves Porto
    • 2
  • Anderson Rodrigo da Silva
    • 3
  • Vinicius Carius de Souza
    • 4
  • Maria Luisa Teixeira
    • 5
  • Maria das Graças Cardoso
    • 5
  • Marcelo de Oliveira Santos
    • 4
  • Lyderson Facio Viccini
    • 4
  • Wagner Campos Otoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Biology Department, Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory/BIOAGROUniversity Campus, P.H. Rolfs Avenue, Federal University of ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Biotecnologia Vegetal, Universidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto Federal GoianoCampus UrutaíUrutaíBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Genética e Biotecnologia, Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Federal de Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  5. 5.Laboratório de Óleos Essenciais, Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil

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