Antifungal activity of stilbenes in in vitro bioassays and in transgenic Populus expressing a gene encoding pinosylvin synthase

S.K. Seppänen (Corresponding Author), L. Syrjälä, K. von Weissenberg, T.H. Teeri, Leena Paajanen, A. Pappinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of two stilbene compounds, pinosylvin and resveratrol, on the growth of several fungi was evaluated in plate tests. Wood decay tests were carried out with birch and aspen samples impregnated with the two stilbenes. In plate experiments, resveratrol had an enhancing effect on growth at concentrations where pinosylvin was already enough to prevent the growth of most fungi studied. Pinosylvin impregnated at 0.2% (w/w) concentration significantly reduced the decay caused by all fungi except Phellinus tremulae. In contrast, a resveratrol content of 0.8%, did not protect the wood from decay. A pinosylvin-synthase-encoding gene from Pinus sylvestris was transferred into aspen (Populus tremula) and two hybrid aspen clones (Populus tremula×tremuloides) by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Transgenic plants accumulated pinosylvin synthase-specific mRNA and showed stilbene synthase enzyme activity in vitro. Transgenic aspen line H4 showed increased resistance to Phellinus tremulae, while two hybrid aspen transformants decayed faster than the control trees. However, we were unable to detect the accumulation of stilbenes in the transgenic plantlets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-593
JournalPlant Cell Reports
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • stilbenes
  • pinosylvin
  • resveratrol
  • decay fungi
  • transformation


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