PKS activities and biosynthesis of cannabinoids and flavonoids in Cannabis sativa L. plants

Plant Cell Physiol. 2008 Dec;49(12):1767-82. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcn150. Epub 2008 Oct 14.


Polyketide synthase (PKS) enzymatic activities were analyzed in crude protein extracts from cannabis plant tissues. Chalcone synthase (CHS, EC, stilbene synthase (STS, EC, phlorisovalerophenone synthase (VPS, EC, isobutyrophenone synthase (BUS) and olivetol synthase activities were detected during the development and growth of glandular trichomes on bracts. Cannabinoid biosynthesis and accumulation take place in these glandular trichomes. In the biosynthesis of the first precursor of cannabinoids, olivetolic acid, a PKS could be involved; however, no activity for an olivetolic acid-forming PKS was detected. Content analyses of cannabinoids and flavonoids, two secondary metabolites present in this plant, from plant tissues revealed differences in their distribution, suggesting a diverse regulatory control for these biosynthetic fluxes in the plant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cannabinoids / biosynthesis*
  • Cannabis / enzymology*
  • Flavonoids / biosynthesis*
  • Polyketide Synthases / metabolism*


  • Cannabinoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Polyketide Synthases