Elicitor-induced changes of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity in barley cell suspension cultures

Sari Peltonen, Leena Mannonen, Reijo Karjalainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Suspension-cultured barley cells responded to treatments with crude yeast extract and purified glucan preparation by rapidly and transiently (4 h postelicitation) inducing L-phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity. Similarly, treatment of cell cultures with chitosan resulted in increased phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity 2–4 h after elicitation, whereas a mycelium preparation of a fungal pathogen, Bipolaris sorokiniana, and purified chitin caused a more delayed induction of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (8 h postelicitation). The most abundant of the plant cell wall degrading enzymes produced by Bipolaris sorokiniana, β-1,4-xylanase, had only a weak elicitor activity in barley cells suggesting that fungal cell wall components rather than the hydrolytic enzymes secreted by the fungus function as recognizable components that cause barley cells to induce defences. Treatment of the elicited cells with a phenylalanine ammonia-lyase inhibitor, α-aminooxy-β-phenylpropionic acid, resulted in the superinduction of the enzyme indicating the blocking of the feedback regulation mechanisms, whereas in the presence of 1 mM trans-cinnamic acid the elicitor-induction of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase was completely inhibited. Elicitor treatments increased the accumulation of wall-bound phenolics as evidenced by phloroglucinol-HCl staining and thioglycolic acid methods. However, α-aminooxy-β-phenylpropionic acid applied in combination with the elicitor did not prevent the accumulation of phenolics in barley cell walls. This suggested that phenylalanine ammonia-lyase might not play an important role in the synthesis wall-bound phenolic compounds in barley. However, cinnamic acid, whether applied alone or together with the elicitor, increased the amount of wall-bound phenolics in suspension-cultured barley cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-193
JournalPlant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bipolaris sorokiniana
  • enzyme inhibitors
  • fungal elicitors
  • Hordeum vulgare
  • wall-bound phenolics
  • xylanase


Dive into the research topics of 'Elicitor-induced changes of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity in barley cell suspension cultures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this