Developing an in vitro quasi-symbiotic culture system of Aquilaria malaccensis with potentially beneficial microbes on agarwood resinous formation

  • Jen-Ping Chung
  • Kai-Hsien Chen
Original Article


Agarwood is the most valuable resinous wood used in the production of products such as incenses, perfumes, and traditional medicines. However, such production has led to the destruction of wild Aquilaria forests. In the current study, an in vitro culture system was established by combining Aquilaria malaccensis with a quasi-symbiotic bacteria strain, A329, cultured on a medium designed for agarwood production. The quasi-symbiotic bacteria A329 derived from A. malaccensis agarwood has Bacillus-like characteristics, is low in phytopathogens, and can coculture with A. malaccensis with the current designed culture medium. The prolonged culture induced agarwood production at the base of A. malaccensis in vitro. Using high solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, 23 compounds were tentatively identified, including several fingerprinting compounds, agarospirol, eudesmanes, guaianes, valencanes, selinenes, aristolone and 2-(2-phenylethyl) chromone. Using the in vitro system established in this study, the duration of agarwood resin formation can be shortened to 3 months in a well-controlled environment with 100% yield, constituting a promising platform with high commercial value for the selection of Aquilaria spp., the quasi-symbiotic microbes, and the combination of the two.


Agarwood In vitro culture GC-MS Biomarker 2-(2-Phenylethyl) chromone Agarospirol 


Author contributions

J-PC: Study initial conception and design, Critical revision. J-PC and K-HC: Acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All author declares that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Post-Modern AgricultureMingDao UniversityChanghuaTaiwan
  2. 2.YuShan College of Holistic WellnessWuyi UniversityNanpingChina
  3. 3.Sinetics Accreditation International Taiwan LtdTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Horticulture and Landscape ArchitectureNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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