Exogenous gibberellin A3 (GA3; 30 μm) promoted shoot elongation of germinated seeds of Dioscorea nipponica, an East Asian species of a taxonomic section Stenophora of the genus Dioscorea (yams). Endogenous gibberellins (GAs) were analyzed by combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) from growing shoots of three East Asian Stenophora species. Gibberellin A4, GA12, GA 19, GA24 and GA53 were identified by Kovats retention indices and by full spectra of GC-MS from D. quinqueloba. Gibberellin A19, GA24 and GA53 were also identified from D. nipponica and D. septemloba. These results suggest that two separate biosynthetic pathways of GAs, early 13-hydroxylation and non-13-hydroxylation pathways are functioning in the growth of shoots of these thee species.
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