Exposure to ozone induced a rapid increase in the levels of the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) and sequentially followed by the enhancement of Taxol production in suspension cell cultures of Taxus chinensis. The observed increases in ABA and Taxol were dependent on the concentration of ozone applied to T. chinensis cell cultures. To examine the role of ABA in ozone-induced Taxol production, we pretreated the cells with ABA biosynthesis inhibitor fluridone to abolish ozone-triggered ABA generation and assayed the effect of fluridone on ozone-induced Taxol production. The results showed that pretreatment of the cells with fluridone not only suppressed the ozone-triggered ABA generation but also blocked the ozone-induced Taxol production. Moreover, our data indicate that the effect of ABA on Taxol production of T. chinensis cell cultures is dose-dependent. Interestingly, the suppression of fluridone on ozone-induced Taxol production was reversed by exogenous application of low dose of ABA, although treatment of low dose ABA alone had no effect on Taxol production of the cells. Together, the data indicated that ozone was an efficient elicitor for improving Taxol production of plant cell cultures. Furthermore, we demonstrated that ABA played critical roles in ozone-induced Taxol production of T. chinensis suspension cell cultures. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011
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