Section 53
Chapter 52,742

Dynamics of withanolide biosynthesis in relation to temporal expression pattern of metabolic genes in Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal: a comparative study in two morpho-chemovariants

Dhar, N.; Rana, S.; Bhat, W.W.; Razdan, S.; Pandith, S.A.; Khan, S.; Dutt, P.; Dhar, R.S.; Vaishnavi, S.; Vishwakarma, R.; Lattoo, S.K.

Molecular Biology Reports 40(12): 7007-7016


ISSN/ISBN: 1573-4978
PMID: 24190485
DOI: 10.1007/s11033-013-2820-z
Accession: 052741105

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Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal synthesizes large array of pharmacologically active secondary metabolites known as withanolides. It has been extensively investigated in terms of chemistry and bioactivity profiling. However, there exists fragmentary information about the dynamics of withanolide biosynthesis at different phenophases in concert with the expression analysis of key pathway genes. In the present study, two morpho-chemovariants of W. somnifera were harvested at five developmental stages, dissected into leaf and root tissues and assayed for three major withanolides viz. withanolide-A (WS-1), withanone (WS-2) and withaferin A (WS-3) content using high performance liquid chromatography. The present investigation also analyzed the expression pattern of five withanolide biosynthetic pathway genes namely squalene synthase, squalene epoxidase, cycloartenol synthase, cytochrome P450 reductase 1, cytochrome P450 reductase 2 to corroborate with the metabolite flux at different developmental stages. The relative transcript profiles of identified genes at various ontogenetic stages illustrated significant variation in leaf and root tissues and were largely concurrent with the alteration in withanolide pool. Comparatively, the concentrations of withanolide A, withanone and withaferin A along with expression levels of all the five genes were appreciably higher in the leaves than in roots. Relative dynamics in terms of quantitative and qualitative profiles of withanolides in leaf and root tissues revealed least correspondence between the pattern of accumulation, possibly indicting towards de novo tissue-specific biosynthesis.

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