Allene oxide synthase and hydroperoxide lyase product accumulation in Artemisia species

Meshack Afitlhile, Hirotada Fukushige, Charles McCraken, David Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Jasmonic acid (JA) and some of its precursors and derivatives are important signaling molecules in plants, especially in defense reactions. Prior reports indicated that Artemisia species might accumulate high levels of JA and methyl jasmonate (MJ), but these levels have not been quantified. We surveyed representative species of Artemisia from around the world and found several species of Artemisia to accumulate unusually high basal levels of JA and MJ. The pool of free linolenic acid was in excess of the amount needed to support the synthesis of JA and MJ. Basal levels of MJ were comparable to or higher than those of JA, and wounding increased only MJ levels. Surveyed species of Artemisia accumulated JA and MJ in the range of 0.6-10 and 2-39 nmol/g FW, with A. tridentata subspecies vaseyana accumulating 20-48 nmol/g FW of JA and MJ depending on growth conditions. Some Artemisia species had two- to eight-fold higher JA when grown outside compared to growth in a greenhouse. Products of the hydroperoxide lyase (HPL) pathway, (Z)-3-hexenal, (E)-2-hexenal and hexanal, were only synthesized de novo upon wounding. The data suggest that wounding was needed to activate HPL, and/or bring the enzyme in close proximity to its substrate. Conversely, enzymes of the JA pathway were functioning near their maximum in unwounded leaves of Artemisia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank E. McArthur for kindly providing seeds of most species of Artemisia and instructions on their growth conditions. We also thank E. Farmer for the suggestion that Artemisia plants grown outdoors might produce more MJ than those grown in a greenhouse. J. Loughrin, T.R. Hamilton-Kemp and Randy Collins helped in measuring the volatiles, which was carried out in the laboratory of T.R. Hamilton-Kemp. This work was supported by the USDA grant #9701487, the THRI and the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • (E)-2-hexenal
  • (Z)-3-hexenal
  • Artemisia
  • Jasmonic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Methyl jasmonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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