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Tuan P.A.,Chungnam National University | Park W.T.,Chungnam National University | Xu H.,Chungnam National University | Park N.I.,National Institute of Biological Resources NIBR | Park S.U.,Chungnam National University
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Korean mint (Agastache rugosa), a perennial, medicinal plant of the Labiatae family, has many useful constituents, including monoterpenes and phenylpropanoids. Among these, tilianin and rosmarinic acid, 2 well-known natural products, have many pharmacologically useful properties. Chalcone synthase (CHS) and chalcone isomerase (CHI) catalyze the first and second committed steps in the phenylpropanoid pathway of plants, leading to the production of tilianin. In this study, cDNAs encoding CHS (ArCHS) and CHI (ArCHI) were isolated from A. rugosa using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE)-PCR. Amino acid sequence alignments showed that ArCHS and ArCHI shared high sequence identity and active sites with their respective orthologous genes. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis was used to determine the expression levels of genes involved in tilianin and rosmarinic acid biosyntheses in the flowers, leaves, stems, and roots of A. rugosa. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) revealed that the accumulation pattern of tilianin matched the expression patterns of ArCHS and ArCHI in different organs of A. rugosa. Moreover, acacetin, the precursor of tilianin, also demonstrated an accumulation pattern congruent with the expression of these 2 genes. The transcription levels of ArPAL, ArC4H, and Ar4CL were the highest in the leaves or flowers of the plant, which also contained a relatively high amount of rosmarinic acid. However, the roots showed a significant content of rosmarinic acid, although the transcription of ArPAL, ArC4H, and Ar4CL were low. The findings of our study support the medicinal usefulness of A. rugosa and indicate targets for increasing tilianin and rosmarinic acid production in this plant. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source

Park N.I.,National Institute of Biological Resources NIBR | Xu H.,Chungnam National University | Li X.,Chungnam National University | Kim Y.S.,Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Process Biochemistry

Transgenic hairy root lines from Scutellaria baicalensis overexpressing phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) (SbPAL1, SbPAL2, and SbAPL3) were established using an Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation system. Stable genetic transformation with the SbPAL genes was confirmed by real-time PCR. These transgenic hairy root lines produced higher quantities flavones (i.e., baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin) than the control hairy root line. In particular, the wogonin content was increased by 4-11 times in the SbPAL1-, SbPAL2-, and SbPAL3-overexpressing hairy roots than the S. baicalensis wild-type roots. This research showed the importance of PAL in flavone biosynthesis and demonstrated the efficiency of metabolic engineering in S. baicalensis hairy roots. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Blakemore R.J.,National Institute of Biological Resources NIBR

Two new megadrile earthworms from the steppes, the first species wholly from Outer Mongolia, are ascribed to the partially parthenogenetic Eisenia nordenskioldi (Eisen, 1879) species-complex. Taxonomic justification of sympatric Eisenia nordenskioldi mongol and E. nordenskioldi onon ssp. n. are supported by mtDNA COI barcodes. The unreliability of molecular differentiation based on voucher names compared to definitive types is again demonstrated, as pertains to the ultimate Eisenia andrei Bouché, 1972 synonym of the E. fetida (Savigny, 1826) sibling species-complex composed of more than a dozen prior names. Similar species described from Northeast China [formerly Manchuria] and North Korea are briefly considered, albeit they are intermittently held in synonymy of cosmopolitan Aporrectodea rosea (Savigny, 1826) along with many other taxa including some exotic lumbricids initially found in India. Japanese and North American lumbricids are also mentioned. Distributions are discussed and an annotated checklist of all nine Siberian/sub-arctic E. nordenskioldi ssp. is appended. © Robert J. Blakemore. Source

Blakemore R.J.,Hanyang University | Lee S.,Hanyang University | Lee W.,Hanyang University | Seo H.-Y.,National Institute of Biological Resources NIBR

Two Korean endemic pheretimoid Amynthas Kinberg, 1867 species belonging in family Megascolecidae s. stricto are sketched, dissected and described. Amynthas daeari Blakemore sp. n. has spermathecae in 6/7/8 complying with an A. tokioensis spp-group, whilst Amynthas jinburi Blakemore sp. n. has spermathecal pores in 5 & 6 strictly complying with Sims & Easton's (1972) A. canaliculatus-group. A definitive COI gene barcode is provided for the holotype of A. daeari but the age since collection or preservation of the A. jinburi type in 2000 precluded its mtDNA extraction at this time. Source

Blakemore R.J.,National Institute of Biological Resources NIBR
Zoology in the Middle East

Clarification of correct placement of species in genus Metaphire Sims & Easton, 1972 is required as differentiation from Amynthas Kinberg, 1867 hinges on condition of male pores in their respective type-species. Confusion is due in part to misconception of rules of ICZN and partly because of problems of parthenogenetic degradation of male organs. In summary, Amynthas is the default genus of pheretimoids with superficial or absent male pores, Metaphire species differs by having non-superficial male pores and in Pheretima Kinberg, 1867, which is not known in East Asia, taxa further acquire nephridia on spermathecal ducts. The type of Metaphire, M. javanica (Kinberg, 1867), was misidentified in Australia but M. californica (Kinberg, 1867), its possible synonym, is widespread and is now confirmed in Korea. This latter cosmopolitan is still often confused with Japanese Duplodicodrilus schmardae (Horst, 1883) that has eversible intromittent organs developed much more so than in Metaphire. Figures are provided. © Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg. Source

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