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Physiol Plant. 2014 Aug;151(4):522-32. doi: 10.1111/ppl.12139. Epub 2014 Jan 27.

Metabolic analysis of the increased adventitious rooting mutant of Artemisia annua reveals a role for the plant monoterpene borneol in adventitious root formation.

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Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Crop, National Research Center of Engineering Technology for Utilization of Functional Ingredients from Botanicals, College of Horticulture and Hardening, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China.


Adventitious root (AR) formation is a critical process for plant clonal propagation. The role of plant secondary metabolites in AR formation is still poorly understood. Chemical and physical mutagenesis in combination with somatic variation were performed on Artemisia annua in order to obtain a mutant with changes in adventitious rooting and composition of plant secondary metabolites. Metabolic and morphological analyses of the iar (increased adventitious rooting) mutant coupled with in vitro assays were used to elucidate the relationship between plant secondary metabolites and AR formation. The only detected differences between the iar mutant and wild-type were rooting capacity and borneol/camphor content. Consistent with this, treatment with borneol in vitro promoted adventitious rooting in wild-type. The enhanced rooting did not continue upon removal of borneol. The iar mutant displayed no significant differences in AR formation upon treatment with camphor. Together, our results suggest that borneol promotes adventitious rooting whereas camphor has no effect on AR formation.

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