Methyl jasmonate induced accumulation of kalopanaxsaponin I in Nigella sativa

Martin Scholz, Marta Lipinski, Marco Leupold, Heinrich Luftmann, Lena Harig, Rivka Ofir, Rainer Fischer, Dirk Prüfer, Kai J. Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Hydroponically cultivated Nigella sativa L. plants treated with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) showed a twelve-fold increase in levels of the monodesmosidic triterpene saponins α-hederin and kalopanaxsaponin I (KsI) in the leaves. We will demonstrate that these two saponins accounted for approximately 10% of the dry plant matter, of which 93% was KsI and 7% α-hederin. To address the molecular basis of saponin induction by MeJA, we cloned and characterized the β-amyrin synthase gene (NsβAS1) encoding one of the key enzymes in triterpene saponin biosynthesis. As expected, NsβAS1 transcription was induced by MeJA and led to the production of β-amyrin when over-expressed in yeast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Hederins
  • Hydroponics
  • Kalopanaxsaponin I
  • Methyl jasmonate
  • Nigella sativa
  • Ranunculaceae
  • Saponin
  • β-Amyrin synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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