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Asparagus racemosus cell cultures: a source for enhanced production of shatavarins and sarsapogenin

Pise, Mashitha, Rudra, Jaishree, Bundale, Sunita, Begde, Deovrat, Nashikkar, Nandita, Upadhyay, Avinash
In vitro cellular & developmental biology 2012 v.48 no.1 pp. 85-91
2,4-D, Asparagus racemosus, biomass production, casein hydrolysates, cell culture, medicinal plants, naphthaleneacetic acid, pH, polygalacturonase, steroid saponins
Asparagus racemosus is an important monocot medicinal plant that is in great demand for its steroidal saponins called shatavarins. This study was initiated to optimize the conditions for production of shatavarins in cell cultures of A. racemosus in a modified Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with six different combinations of growth regulators. Biomass accumulation was correlated with saponin production over a 30-d culture cycle. Biomass and saponin accumulation patterns were dependent on combinations of growth regulators and the pH of the medium. Maximum levels of saponin and biomass accumulation were recorded on day 25 of the culture cycle within a pH range of 3.4 to 5.6. Total saponin produced by the in vitro cultures was 20-fold higher than amounts produced by cultivated plants. Saponin accumulation was not a biomass-associated phenomenon; cultures which showed the highest biomass accumulation were not the highest saponin accumulators. Maximum biomass (28.30 ± 0.29 g l−1) and maximum levels of shatavarin IV(11.48 ± 0.61 mg g−1) accumulation was found using a medium containing 2.0 mg l−1 2,4-D, 2 g l−1 casein hydrolysate and 0.005% pectinase. The highest levels of sarsapogenin, secreted and intracellular (4.02 ± 0.09 mg g−1), accumulated using a medium containing 1.0 mg l−1 NAA, 1.0 mg l−1 2,4-D, 0.5 mg l−1 BAP, 2 g l−1 casein hydrolysate and 0.005% pectinase, after 25 d. Shatavarins were secreted into the medium and can be isolated easily for further purification.