Core gene for the medicinal properties of garlic discovered

August 5, 2015

Potential for efficient production of medicinal and functional components and for drug discovery and plant breeding

Joint research between Chiba University, RIKEN CSRS, House Foods and Wakunaga Pharmaceutical has revealed the existence of an enzyme gene—dubbed AsFMO1—that is key in producing the sulfur-containing compound alliin that gives garlic its pharmacological and functional properties.

An analysis of AsFMO1 enzyme functions revealed that it oxidizes sulfur as an intermediate step in the final stages of alliin biosynthesis. AsFMO1 is a comparatively rare type of enzyme known as a flavin-containing monooxygenase. Further analysis of parts of the garlic plant that express AsMFO1 and the parts that store alliin demonstrated that various tissues are involved in expressing AsFMO1 for alliin production.

These results will contribute to practical applications if AsFMO1 can be inserted into other plants or microorganisms to efficiently produce sulfur-containing compounds such as alliin, be used for drug discovery, or create garlic breeds with high levels of sulfur-containing compounds with health benefits.


Original article>
The Plant Journal doi: 10.1111/tpj.12954
N. Yoshimoto, M. Onuma, S. Mizuno, Y. Sugino, R. Nakabayashi, S. Imai, T. Tsuneyoshi, S. Sumi, K. Saito,
"Identification of a flavin-containing S-oxygenating monooxygenase involved in alliin biosynthesis in garlic".

Kazuki Saito
Group Director
Metabolomics Research Group