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Establishment of Punica granatum L. peel cell culture to produce bioactive compounds

Rubinovich, Lior, Segev, Barak, Habashi, Rida, Con, Pazit, Amir, Rachel
Plant cell, tissue, and organ culture 2019 v.138 no.1 pp. 131-140
Punica granatum, anthocyanins, antioxidant activity, benzyladenine, bioactive compounds, callus, cell culture, culture media, ellagic acid, explants, fruits, gallic acid, indole acetic acid, polyphenols, polyvinylpyrrolidone, pomegranates, seasonal variation, secondary metabolites, silver nitrate, sodium hypochlorite, sterilizing, sucrose
The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit harbors remarkable health-beneficial properties. Most of its healthy secondary metabolites are located in their peels. Therefore, pomegranate peels (PPs) can be used to produce high-value healthy compounds. PP cell cultures may also be an attractive alternative source since it can be established throughout the year regardless of seasonal effects. The aim of this study was to establish a novel PP cell culture for future research and biotechnological applications. We first established procedures to sterilize and control oxidative browning of the peel explants. We found that surface sterilizing with 3% sodium hypochlorite for 15 min, frequent sub-culturing of the explants on media containing polyvinylpyrrolidone plus silver nitrate was the optimal treatment for oxidative browning control and callus initiation. We also found that 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) induced callus initiation, whereas 3-indoleacetic acid (IAA) repressed it. The callus daily growth rate was maintained at 1% regardless of the various growth media examined. Moreover, our results show that although there was a minor effect of the growth media on polyphenol accumulation and antioxidant activity, the exposure to light and high sucrose levels led to higher levels (up to 205 times than the control) of secondary metabolites such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, punicalagin and gallic acid. In summary, this work laid the foundations for further research that will be needed to study and commercialize PP cell cultures.