Planta Med 1983; 49(11): 176-180
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-969842
Research Articles

© Hippokrates Verlag Stuttgart

Biosynthesis of Sterols and Triterpenoids in Tissue Cultures of Cucurbita maxima

O. Caputo1 , L. Delprino1 , F. Viola, R. Caramiello2 , G. Balliano1
  • 1Istituto di Chimica Farmaceutica Applicata, Torino, Italy
  • 2Istituto Botanico, Torino, Italy
Further Information

Publication History



Publication Date:
26 March 2007 (online)


The biosynthesis of sterols and triterpenoids in Cucurbita maxima was studied by analysis of unsaponifiable fraction of tissues from different development stages of the plant (seeds, seedlings, adult plant and tissue culture) and by feeding germinating seeds and tissue cultures with [2-14C]-acetate.

Synthesis of cucurbitacins does not occur in callus tissues of Cucurbita maxima, whereas a wide variety of 4,4-dimethylsterols present in these tissues testifies of a high level of squaleneoxide cyclase activity in growing callus.

The peculiarity of Cucurbitaceae among the higher plants is also discussed comparing the side chain biosynthesis of sterols in Cucurbita maxima to that operating in other higher plants.