Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Quinolizidine Alkaloid Biosynthesis in Leguminosae Plants

  • Somnuk Bunsupa
  • Kazuki SaitoEmail author
  • Mami Yamazaki


Quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs) are an important class of plant secondary metabolites which are mainly distributed in the genus Lupinus. QAs are important for mankind as sources of drug and are assumed to play an important role for the survival of plant as defense compounds against pathogenic organisms or predators. However, the molecular mechanism underlying QA biosynthesis is poorly understood. Over the past decade, several molecular biotechnology techniques, such as amplified fragment length polymorphism, random amplified polymorphic DNA, and PCR-selected subtraction have been employed to identify the genes involved in QA biosynthesis. Nevertheless, only the genes that are involved in the formation of QA-ester in Lupinus plant and related genes have been identified. Alkaloid-free cultivar of Lupinus plants has gained attention not only as feed supplement but also as ingredient for human food. Various genetic mapping and cross-comparison of genome models in each of agronomical and economically important traits in Lupinus plants have been reported which would be valuable information for molecular breeding and evolutionary study of Leguminous plants. This review outlines an overview of QAs, such as the occurrences, chemistry, biochemistry, and chemotaxonomy and recent studies focusing on molecular biology and biotechnology of QA biosynthesis in Leguminosae plants.


Anthracnose Resistance Lupinus Species Quinolizidine Alkaloid Lupinus Plant Sophora Flavescens 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyChiba UniversityChuo-kuJapan

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