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Physiol Mol Biol Plants. 2014 Jul;20(3):357-64. doi: 10.1007/s12298-014-0243-5. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

In vitro propagation and withaferin A production in Withania ashwagandha, a rare medicinal plant of India.

Author information

  • 1Biodiversity & Applied Botany Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Canal Road, Jammu, 180001 India ; Department of Genetics, Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics (CMEG), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0028 South Africa.
  • 2Department of Biochemistry, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir 190006 India.
  • 3Biodiversity & Applied Botany Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Canal Road, Jammu, 180001 India.

Abstract

Withania ashwagandha, belonging to the family Solanaceae, is an important medicinal herb of India with restricted geographic distribution. It is a rich source of withaferin A (WA) and other bioactive withanolides. In the present study a rapid in vitro mass propagation protocol of W. ashwagandha was developed from nodal explants. Nodal explants were cultured on MS medium supplemented with various concentrations and combinations of plant growth regulators (PGRs). The highest number of regenerated shoots per ex-plant (33 ± 2.7) and highest WA (13.4 ± 1.15 mg/g of DW) production was obtained on MS medium supplemented with 5.0 μM 6-benzyladenine (BA) and 1.0 μM Kinetin (Kn). In vitro raised shoots were further rooted on half-strength MS medium containing 2.0 μM Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and analyzed for WA production. The rooted plantlets when transferred to poly bags in the greenhouse showed 90 % survival frequency. Levels of WA were higher in the in vitro and ex vitro derived shoot and root tissues as compared to field grown mother plants. In an attempt to further maximize WA production, shoot cultures were further grown in liquid MS medium supplemented with 5.0 μM 6-benzyladenine (BA) and 1.0 μM Kinetin (Kn). Root cultures were grown on half strength MS liquid medium fortified with 2.0 μM of IBA. WA production in the liquid cultures was significantly higher compared to the static composition of the same media. This protocol, first of its kind in this plant, can be successfully employed for conservation, proliferation and large-scale production of WA. The regenerated plants can also be used in traditional medicine as an alternative to naturally collected plants.

KEYWORDS:

High performance liquid chromatography; In vitro conservation; Medicinal plant; Plant growth regulators; W. ashwagandha; Withaferin A

PMID:
25049463
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC4101142
[Available on 2015/7/1]
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