Hairy root induction of Papaver somniferum var. album, a difficult-to-transform plant, by A. rhizogenes LBA 9402
Fungal elicitor preparations from either homogenized mycelia of Dendryphion penicillatum (Cda.) Fr., a specific pathogen of Papaver species, or conidia of Verticillium dahliae Kleb., a general pathogen, were added to 14-day-old suspension cultures of Papaver bracteatum. Plant tissue cultures were grown either in the presence or absence of 0.1 milligram of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid per liter and 0.5 milligram of 6-benzylam-inopurine per liter. Dendryphion extracts elicited an accumulation of the benzophenanthridine alkaloid, sanguinarine, which was not greatly influenced by hormone deprivation. Millimolar concentrations of dopamine were detected under all conditions. Thebaine was found when cells were cultured in hormone-free media, but it was not elicitor dose dependent. Verticillium-elicited cultures accumulated sanguinarine in an elicitor-dose-dependent manner only under conditions of hormonal deprivation, resulting in an elevation of sanguinarine levels 5- to 500-fold greater than controls (2-10% dry weight). Most of the sanguinarine accumulated in the medium (23 milligrams per liter), with 85% of the alkaloid associated with a 100g sedimenting fraction that, upon light microscopic inspection, proved to be devoid of cells. In bioassays, sanguinarine showed significant biological activity at concentrations as low as 5 to 10 micrograms per milliliter against three general plant pathogens, Verticillium dahliae, Botrytis cinerea Pers. ex Fr., and Rhizoctonia solani Kuehn. Dendryphion was less affected by sanguinarine addition and displayed an ability to metabolize the alkaloid as evidenced by its loss from the media, subsequent accumulation in the mycelia, and ultimate disappearance over a 48-hour period. By comparison, dopamine and thebaine were less toxic to the general plant pathogens.