Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 1233–1244 | Cite as

Glucoindole alkaloid accumulation induced by yeast extract in Uncaria tomentosa root cultures is involved in defense response

  • Lady Johana Correa-Higuera
  • Edgar Baldemar Sepúlveda-García
  • Teresa Ponce-Noyola
  • José Luis Trejo-Espino
  • Antonio Ruperto Jiménez-Aparicio
  • Gabriela R. Luna-Palencia
  • Gabriela Trejo-TapiaEmail author
  • Ana C. Ramos-ValdiviaEmail author
Original Research Paper



To evaluate the induction of monoterpenoid indole alkaloids (MIA) and phenolic compound production by yeast extract (YE) and its relationship with defense responses in Uncaria tomentosa (Rubiaceae) root cultures.


Root cultures were elicited by YE at three concentrations. The 0.5 mg YE ml−1 treatment did not affect cell viability but increased the hydrogen peroxide concentration by 5.7 times; guaiacol peroxidase activity by twofold; and the glucoindole alkaloid 3α-dihydrocadambine (DHC) content by 2.6 times (to 825.3 ± 27.3 μg g−1). This treatment did not affect the contents of monoterpenoid oxindole alkaloids or chlorogenic acids. In response to 0.5 mg YE ml−1 treatment, the transcript levels of MIA biosynthetic genes, TDC and LAMT, increased 5.4 and 1.9-fold, respectively, that of SGD decreased by 32%, and that of STR did not change. The transcript levels of genes related to phenolic compounds, PAL, CHS and HQT, increased by 1.7, 7.7, and 1.2-fold, respectively. Notably, the transcript levels of Prx1 and Prx encoding class III peroxidases increased by 1.4 and 2.5-fold.


The YE elicitor induced an antioxidant defense response, increased the transcript levels of genes encoding enzymes related to strictosidine biosynthesis precursors and class III peroxidases, and decreased the transcript level of SGD. Thus, YE could stimulate antifungal DHC production in root cultures of U. tomentosa.


3α-Dihydrocadambine Class III peroxidases Monoterpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthesis Phenolic compounds Uncaria tomentosa 



This work was supported by CONACYT (National Council for Science and Technology, Mexico, Grant No. 222097, doctoral fellowship 423774 to L.J.C.H., and postdoctoral fellowship to E.B.S.G.) and SIP-IPN (National Polytechnic Institute, Grant No. 20181377). The authors thank V. Medina-Pérez for assistance with chromatographic analysis and C. Fontaine for technical support. L.J.C.H. acknowledge to Unitrópico for allowing its academic leave.

Supporting information

Supplementary Fig. 1—Viability of Uncaria tomentosa roots after 96 h of elicitation with yeast extract at different concentrations.

Supplementary Fig. 2—HPLC chromatogram λ = 244 nm for the alkaloids present in Uncaria tomentosa root culture, after 96 h of elicitation with yeast extract (0.5 mg ml−1).

Supplementary Fig. 3—HPLC chromatogram λ = 325 nm for phenolic compounds present in Uncaria tomentosa root culture, after 96 h of elicitation with yeast extract (0.5 mg ml−1).

Supplementary Figs. 4–12—Sequences selected for primer design of biosynthetic genes.

Supplementary Table 1—Primers used in RT-qPCR.

Supplementary material

10529_2019_2714_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (222 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 221 kb)
10529_2019_2714_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (385 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 384 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lady Johana Correa-Higuera
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edgar Baldemar Sepúlveda-García
    • 2
  • Teresa Ponce-Noyola
    • 2
  • José Luis Trejo-Espino
    • 1
  • Antonio Ruperto Jiménez-Aparicio
    • 1
  • Gabriela R. Luna-Palencia
    • 2
  • Gabriela Trejo-Tapia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ana C. Ramos-Valdivia
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Biotecnología, Centro de Desarrollo de Productos BióticosInstituto Politécnico Nacional (CEPROBI-IPN)YautepecMexico
  2. 2.Departamento de Biotecnología y BioingenieríaCentro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico NacionalMexico CityMexico

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