Endogenous alpha-ketol linolenic acid levels in short day-induced cotyledons are closely related to flower induction in Pharbitis nil

Plant Cell Physiol. 2003 Jan;44(1):35-43. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcg007.


Alpha-ketol linolenic acid [KODA, 9,10-ketol-octadecadienoic acid, that is 9-hydroxy-10-oxo-12(Z),15(Z)-octadecadienoic acid] is a signal compound found in Lemna paucicostata after exposure to stress, such as drought, heat or osmotic stress. KODA reacts with catecholamines to generate products that strongly induce flowering, although KODA itself is inactive [Yokoyama et al. (2000) Plant Cell Physiol. 41: 110; Yamaguchi et al. (2001) Plant Cell Physiol. 42: 1201]. We examined the role of KODA in the flower-induction process of Pharbitis nil (violet). KODA was identified for the first time in seedlings of P. nil grown under a flower-inductive condition (16-h dark exposure), by means of LC-SIM and LC-MS/MS. In addition, the changes in endogenous KODA levels (evaluated after esterification of KODA with 9-anthryldiazomethane) during the flower-inductive phase in short day-induced cotyledons were closely related to flower induction. The KODA concentration sharply increased in seedlings during the last 2 h of a 16-h dark period, while the KODA level showed no significant elevation under continuous light. The increase of KODA level occurred in cotyledonal blades, but not in other parts (petiole, hypocotyls and shoot tip). When the 16-h dark period was interrupted with a 10-min light exposure at the 8th h, flower induction was blocked and KODA level also failed to increase. The degree of elevation of KODA concentration in response to 16-h dark exposure was the highest when the cotyledons had just unfolded, and gradually decreased in seedlings grown under continuous light for longer periods, reaching the basal level at the 3rd day after unfolding. Flower-inducing ability also decreased in a similar manner. These results suggest that KODA may be involved in flower induction in P. nil.

MeSH terms

  • Anthracenes / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Convolvulaceae / growth & development*
  • Convolvulaceae / metabolism
  • Convolvulaceae / radiation effects
  • Cotyledon / metabolism*
  • Cotyledon / radiation effects
  • Darkness
  • Flowers / growth & development*
  • Flowers / metabolism
  • Flowers / radiation effects
  • Light
  • Photoperiod*
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / metabolism*


  • 9-hydroxy-10-oxo-12,15-octadecadienoic acid
  • Anthracenes
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • 9-diazomethylanthracene