Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Accumulation of scopoletin is associated with the high disease resistance of the hybrid Nicotiana glutinosa x Nicotiana debneyi

  • 160 Accesses

  • 16 Citations


The high disease resistance of the amphidiploid hybrid of Nicotiana glutinosa x Nicotiana debneyi is associated with high constitutive levels of two phenolic compounds as analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The structures of these two compounds were elucidated by means of gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, fluorescence- and light-spectrophotometry to be those of scopolin and scopoletin. They reached levels of 4 nmol·(g FW)−1 and 35 nmol·(g FW)−1, respectively, in leaf tissues of the hybrid, about 10–50 times the amount found in the parental species. Scopoletin showed a direct antimicrobial activity against Cercospora nicotianae, Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae, Pseudomonas syringae pvs. tabaci and syringae and tobacco mosaic virus when added to synthetic growth media, mixed with the inoculum or sprayed onto tobacco plants prior to inoculation. We postulate that the high amount of toxic phenolics in the leaves of the hybrid N. glutinosa x N. debneyi contributes to its high disease resistance.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.



gas chromatography — tandem mass spectrometry


high-performance liquid chromatography


pathogenesis-related proteins


tobacco mosaic virus


tobacco necrosis virus


  1. Ahl, P., Gianinazzi, S. (1982) b-Proteins as a constitutive component in highly (TMV) resistant interspecific hybrids of Nicotiana glutinosa x Nicotiana debneyi. Plant Sci. Lett. 26, 173–181

  2. Ahl Goy, P., Felix, G., Métraux, J.P., Meins, F. (1992) Resistance to diseases in the hybrid Nicotiana glutinosa x Nicotiana debneyi is associated with high levels of chitinase, β-1,3-glucanase, peroxidase and polyphenoloxidase. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol. 41, 11–21

  3. Blum, W., Aichholz, R. (1991) Polykondensation OH-terminaler Siloxane. In: Hochtemperatur-Gas-Chromatographie, pp. 132–133, Blum, W., ed. Hüthig Verlag, Heidelberg, FRG

  4. Blum, W., Ramstein, P., Eglinton, J. (1990) Coupling of high temperature glass capillary columns to a mass spectrophotometer. GC/MS analysis of metalloporphyrins from Julia Creek oil shale. J. High Resol. Chromatogr. Chromatogr. Commun. 13, 85–93

  5. Cohen, Y., Kuc, J. (1981) The effect of induced systemic resistance with Peronospora tabacina on the accumulation of phenolics and terpenoids in tobacco foliage. Phytopathology 71, 209

  6. Cooke, B.H., Jones, D.G. (1970) The effect of near-ultraviolet irradiation and agar medium on the sporulation of Septoria nodorum and Septoria tritici. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc. 54, 221–226

  7. Fritig, B., Legrand, M., Hirth, L. (1972) Changes in the metabolism of phenolic compounds during the hypersensitive reaction of tobacco to TMV. Virology 47, 845–848

  8. Gasser, R., Kern, H., Défago, G. (1988) Scopolin, a biochemical marker for resistance to Thielaviopsis basicola in callus and crown-gall tissue cultures of tobacco. J. Phytopath. 123, 115–123

  9. Gianinazzi, S., Ahl, P. (1983) The genetic and molecular basis of b-proteins in the genus Nicotiana. Neth. J. Plant Path. 89, 275–281

  10. Loebenstein, G., Gara, A., Gianinazzi, S. (1990) Constitutive production of an inhibitor of virus replication in the interspecific hybrid of Nicotiana glutinosa x Nicotiana debneyi. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol. 37, 145–151

  11. Malamy, J., Carr, J.P., Klessig, D.F., Raskin, I. (1990) Salicylic acid: a likely endogenous signal in the resistance response of tobacco to viral infection. Science 250, 1002–1004

  12. Massala, R., Legrand, M., Fritig, B. (1980) Effect of α-aminooxyacetate, a competitive inhibitor of phenylalanine ammonialyase, on the hypersensitive reaction of tobacco to tobacco mosaic virus. Physiol. Plant Pathol. 12, 179–189

  13. Merz, K.W. (1932) Ueber das Cichoriin und die Konstitution des Aeskulins und des Skopolins. Arch. Pharm. Ber. Dtsch. Pharm. Ges. 270, 476–494

  14. Métraux, J.P., Ahl Goy, P., Staub, T., Speich, J., Steinemann, A., Ryals, R., Ward, E. (1991) Induced systemic resistance in cucumber in response to 2,6-dichloro-isonicotinic acid and pathogens. In: Advances in molecular genetics of plant-microbe interactions, vol. 1, pp. 432–439, Hennecke, H., Verma, D.P.S., eds. Kluwer, The Netherlands

  15. Mikulska-Macheta, A. (1976) Influence of scopoletin on the infectivity of tobacco mosaic virus in tobacco plants. Zesz. Probl. Postepow Nauk Roln. 182, 17–24

  16. Neuhaus, J.M., Ahl Goy, P., Hinz, U., Flores, S., Meins, F. (1991) High-level expression of a tobacco chitinase gene in Nicotiana sylvestris. Susceptibility of transgenic plants to Cercospora nicotianae infection. Plant Mol. Biology 16, 141–151

  17. Reigh, D.L., Wender, S.H., Smith, E.C. (1973) Scopoletin; a substrate for an isoperoxidase from Nicotiana tabacum tissue culture W-38. Phytochemistry 12, 1265–1268

  18. Reuveni, M., Cohen, Y. (1978) Growth retardation and changes in phenolic compounds, with special reference to scopoletin, in mildewed and ethylene-treated tobacco plants. Physiol. Plant Pathol. 12, 179–189

  19. Sequeira, L., Kelman, A. (1962) The accumulation of growth substances in plants infected by Pseudomonas solanacearum. Phytopathology 52, 36–49

  20. Snook, M.E., Chortyk, O.T., Csinis, A.S. (1991) Black shank disease fungus: inhibition of growth by tobacco root constituents and related compounds. In: Naturally occurring pest bioregulators (ACS Symposium Serie 449), pp. 388–398, Hedin, P.A., ed. American Chemical Society, Washington, USA

  21. Staub, T., Young, T.R. (1980) Fungitoxicity of metalaxyl against Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae. Phytopathology 70, 797–801

  22. Staub, T., Ahl Goy, P., Kessmann, H. (1993) Chemically induced resistance in plants. In: Proc. of the 10th Int. Symp. on Systemic fungicides and antifungal compounds, Reinhardsbrunn 1992, vol. 4, pp. 239–249, Lyr, H., Poltea, C., eds. Ulmer, Stuttgart

  23. Tanguy, J., Martin, C. (1972) Phenolic compounds and the hypersensitive reaction in Nicotiana tabacum infected with tobacco mosaic virus. Phytochemistry 11, 19–28

  24. Torrance, L. (1980) Use of bovine C1q to detect plant viruses in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent-type assay. J. Gen. Virol. 51, 229–232

  25. Van Loon, L.C. (1975) Polyacrylamide disk electrophoresis of the soluble leaf proteins from Nicotiana tabacum var. Samsun and Samsun NN. IV. Similarity of qualitative changes of specific proteins after infection with different viruses and their relationship to acquired resistance. Virology 67, 566–575

  26. Ward, E.R., Uknes, S.J., Williams, S.C., Dincher, S.S., Wiederhold, D.L., Alexander, D.C., Ahl Goy, P., Métraux, J.P., Ryals, J.A. (1991) Coordinate gene activity in response to agents that induce systemic acquired resistance. Plant Cell 3, 1085–1094

  27. Wolfbeis, O.S. (1985) The fluorescence of organic natural products. In: Molecular luminescence spectroscopy, methods and applications: part 1, pp. 167–370, Schulman, S.G., ed. J. Wiley & Sons, New York, USA

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to P. Ahl Goy.

Additional information

We thank Dr. W. Fischer (Ciba-Geigy, Plant Protection Division, Basle, Switzerland) for critical review of the manuscript.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Goy, P.A., Signer, H., Reist, R. et al. Accumulation of scopoletin is associated with the high disease resistance of the hybrid Nicotiana glutinosa x Nicotiana debneyi . Planta 191, 200–206 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00199750

Download citation

Key words

  • Disease resistance
  • Nicotiana
  • Scopoletin
  • Scopolin