Triterpene Functional Genomics in Ocimum

  • Sumit GhoshEmail author
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Triterpenes, isoprene-derived 30-carbon compounds, constitute a large class of natural products with enormous structural and functional diversity. Bioactive triterpenes are used as ingredients in pharmaceuticals, foods, and cosmetics. Ocimum species are known to produce bioactive triterpenes such as ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, betulinic acid, alphitolic acid, euscaphic acid, and epi-maslinic acid. Functional genomics studies conducted in O. basilicum led to identification and characterization of oxidosqualene cyclases (OSCs) and cytochrome P450s (P450s) for the biosynthesis of ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, and opened up the prospects for producing bioactive triterpenes in alternate microbial hosts such as yeast. Moreover, a recent advancement in the area of high-throughput sequencing of genomes and transcriptomes provided an opportunity to understand the molecular and biochemical basis for the biosynthesis of diverse triterpenes and other phytochemicals in Ocimum species.


Phytochemical Triterpene Oxidosqualene cyclase P450 VIGS RNAi Transgenics 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology DivisionCSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic PlantsLucknowIndia

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