Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1125–1130 | Cite as

Enhancing Taxol Biosynthesis by Overexpressing a 9-Cis-Epoxycarotenoid Dioxygenase Gene in Transgenic Cell Lines of Taxus chinensis

  • Shu-tao Li
  • Chun-hua Fu
  • Meng Zhang
  • Yu Zhang
  • Sha Xie
  • Long-jiang Yu
Original Paper


Plant secondary metabolites constitute are a wide range of compounds whose biosynthesis takes place in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) acts as an important signaling molecule that regulates plant response to various stresses. Moreover, 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED) is one of the key enzymes in the ABA biosynthesis pathway in higher plants. In this study, a new NCED gene from Taxus chinensis, the TcNCED1, was overexpressed in transgenic T. chinensis cells, resulting in a maximum of 48 % more accumulation of ABA and a 2.7-fold increase of taxol production compared to the untransformed cells, respectively. These results indicate that overexpression of TcNCED1 can significantly increase the ABA and taxol level in T. chinensis cells, which probably provides an alternative approach in metabolic engineering to improve the yield of taxol in T. chinensis cells through genetic manipulation of the related genes in the ABA biosynthetic pathway.


Taxus chinensis TcNCED1 ABA Taxol 



9-Cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase


Abscisic acid

Real-time Q-PCR

Real-time quantitative PCR


Cauliflower mosaic virus


High-performance liquid chromatography


Taxadiene synthase


10-Deacetylbaccatin III-10β-O-acetytransferase





This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 20776058, 200906036), the Graduate Practice Base of Innovation and Enterprise fund (HF09132011170), and the National “11th Five-Year Plan” to Support Science and Technology Project of China (2008BAI63B04).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shu-tao Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chun-hua Fu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Meng Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yu Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sha Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Long-jiang Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Resource Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and TechnologyHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics Ministry of Education, College of Life Science and TechnologyHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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