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


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.

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Zabetakis, I. Enhancement of flavour biosynthesis from strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) callus cultures by Methylobacterium species. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 50, 179–183 (1997).

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  • strawberry flavour
  • 1,2-propanediol
  • Methylobacterium extorquens
  • 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-2H-furan-3-one