Authors: Iride Mascheretti, Michela Alfieri, Massimiliano Lauria, Franca Locatelli, Roberto Consonni, Erica Cusano, Roméo A. Dougué Kentsop, Marina Laura, Gianluca Ottolina, Franco Faoro and Monica Mattana


  • Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology, National Research Council, Via Bassini 15, 20133 Milan, Italy
  • Institute of Chemical Sciences and Technologies “Giulio Natta”, National Research Council, Via Mario Bianco 9, 20133 Milan, Italy
  • CREA Research Centre for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (CREA OF), Corso degli Inglesi 508, 18038 Sanremo, Italy
  • Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy

Publication: International Journal of Molecular Science

Date: March 2021

Full paper: New Insight into Justicidin B Pathway and Production in Linum austriacum


Lignans are the main secondary metabolites synthetized by Linum species as plant defense compounds but they are also valuable for human health, in particular, for novel therapeutics. In this work, Linum austriacum in vitro cultures, cells (Cc), adventitious roots (ARc) and hairy roots (HRc) were developed for the production of justicidin B through elicitation with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and coronatine (COR). The performances of the cultures were evaluated for their stability, total phenols content and antioxidant ability. NMR was used to identify justicidin B and isojusticidin B and HPLC to quantify the production, highlighting ARc and HRc as the highest productive tissues. MeJA and COR treatments induced the synthesis of justicidin B more than three times and the synthesis of other compounds. RNA-sequencing and a de novo assembly of L. austriacum ARc transcriptome was generated to identify the genes activated by MeJA. Furthermore, for the first time, the intracellular localization of justicidin B in ARc was investigated through microscopic analysis. Then, HRc was chosen for small-scale production in a bioreactor. Altogether, our results improve knowledge on justicidin B pathway and cellular localization in L. austriacum for future scale-up processes.