Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Crop Science (May-June 1962) 2(3): 255-257.


Despite several recent investigations of the biosynthesis of coumarin and related compounds in sweetclover, little is known of the site or sites within the plant at which coumarin is formed. Weygand and Wendt reported coumarin formation in root cultures of Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam. when suitable precursors were supplied. Mothes and Kala concluded that scopoletin and umbelliferone, compounds closely related to coumarin, can be synthesized by root cultures of Atropa belladonna L. The experiments cited gave no indication that the roots are the preferred site of synthesis or that synthesis takes place at all in the roots of intact plants. Neither of the studies excluded the possibility of synthesis in other organs.