Within-Plant Distribution And Emission of Sesquiterpenes From Copaifera Officinalis
Publication Type
Original research
  • Feng Chen
  • Hani Al-Ahmad
  • Blake Joyce
  • Nan Zhao
  • Tobias G. Ko¨llner
  • Jorg Degenhardt
  • C. Neal Stewart, Jr

Copaifera officinalis, the diesel tree, is known for massive production of oleoresin, mainly composed of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. In this study, composition of these sesquiterpenes and their concentrations in leaves, stems and roots of C. officinalis at two developmental stages, including the three-week old (TW) seedlings and two-year old (TY) trees, were determined. The leaves of TW seedlings and TY trees contained similar number of sesquiterpenes, which also had comparable concentrations. The stems of TW seedlings had higher concentrations of sesquiterpenes than those of TY trees. In contrast, the number of sesquiterpene species and their concentrations in the roots of TWseedlings were much lower than those in the roots of TY trees. Cluster analysis of sesquiterpenes estimated that there are at least four terpene synthase genes involved in the production of sesquiterpenes in C. officinalis. Because sesquiterpenes are highly volatile, emissions of sesquiterpenes from healthy and wounded TW seedlings were examined using headspace analysis. Whereas very low emission of sesquiterpenes was detected from undamaged plants, the physically injured seedlings emitted a large number of sesquiterpenes, the quality and the relative quantity of which were similar to those in leaves determined using organic extraction. The implications of our findings to the biosynthetic pathways leading to the production of sesquiterpenes as well as their biological roles in C. officinalis are discussed

Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 47 (2009) 1017–1023
Publisher Country
Publication Type
Both (Printed and Online)