Tyrosine decarboxylase (EC 22.214.171.124) was induced in suspension cultures of Thalictrum rugosum by treatment with a yeast glucan elicitor. Maximum induction was observed at a carbohydrate concentration of 0.4 mg/g fresh weight of cells and maximum enzyme activity was reached 20 h after addition of elicitor. The enzyme was inducible in late exponential and early stationary growth phases. A good correlation between induced tyrosine decarboxylase activity and berberine biosynthesis has been established. It is suggested that tyrosine decarboxylase may be a key enzyme between primary and secondary metabolisms in the biosynthesis of norlaudanosoline-derived alkaloids.