Effect of methyl jasmonate on phenolic compounds and carotenoids of romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)

Hyun Jin Kim, Jorge M. Fonseca, Ju Hee Choi, Chieri Kubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


The effect of exogenous methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on antioxidative compounds of romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) was investigated. Lettuces were treated with various MeJA solutions (0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mM) before harvest. Total phenolic compounds content and antioxidant capacity of romaine lettuce significantly increased after MeJA treatments (0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mM). The total content of phenolic compounds of the romaine lettuce treated with 0.5 mM MeJA (31.6 μg of gallic acid equivalents/mg of dry weight) was 35% higher than that of the control. The increase in phenolic compound content was attributed to a caffeic acid derivative and an unknown phenolic compound, which also contributed to increased antioxidant capacity. The induction of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity by the MeJA treatment indicated that phenolic compounds were altered due to the activation of the phenylpropandoid pathway. Total content of carotenoids, including lutein and β-carotene, of the MeJA-treated lettuce did not change after 8 days of treatment, whereas the content of the control without MeJA decreased after 8 days. This research indicated that preharvest application of MeJA could increase the nutritional value of romaine lettuce under determined conditions discussed in this work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10366-10372
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 12 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • Carotenoid
  • Methyl jasmonate (MeJa)
  • Phenolic compound
  • Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Secondary metabolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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