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Methods Mol Biol. 2009;547:325-35. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60327-287-2_26.

Bioreactor production of secondary metabolites from cell cultures of periwinkle and sandalwood.

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Cell Biology Laboratory, Division of Biological Sciences, Marshall University, Huntington, WV, USA.


A bench-top bioreactor allowing continuous extraction of secondary metabolites is designed for Catharanthus roseus L. (G.) Don (periwinkle) and Santalum album L. (sandalwood) plant cell suspensions. Periwinkle cell cultures are exposed to biotic elicitors (Aspergillus niger, crude chitin) and abiotic elicitors (mannitol, methyl jasmonate) to induce alkaloid production. Whereas most of the biotic elicitors are effective when added on day 15 of culture, the abiotic elicitors are effective when added on day 20. The use of trans-cinnamic acid, an inhibitor of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) activity, results in significant increase in the alkaloid production of periwinkle cell cultures. Exposure of the cells to mannitol-induced osmotic stress produced marked increment in the total alkaloid production. When biotic and abiotic stress treatments are applied sequentially, an additive effect in alkaloid accumulation is observed. Although no essential oils are detected, secondary metabolites in the form of phenolics are produced by the sandalwood cell cultures in the bioreactor environment. The use of morphologic modification such as organ cultures and transformed cultures is believed to be required for both production and storage of essential oil constituents in sandalwood. The present chapter demonstrates that periwinkle and sandalwood cell suspensions could be developed and successfully cultured in a modified air-lift bioreactor. The exploitation of variant cell strains and biotransformation of added precursors can certainly improve the use of periwinkle and sandalwood cell cultures for the bioproduction of desired compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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