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Alkaloid production by transformed root cultures of Catharanthus roseus

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Transformed roots of Catharanthus roseus were obtained following infection of detached leaves with Agrobacterium rhizogenes. Roots would not grow in full strength Gamborg's B5 medium but would grow satisfactorily if the medium was diluted to one half strength. Little alkaloid appeared in the growth medium but root tissue contained a high level and wide variety of alkaloids. Ajmalicine, serpentine, vindolinine and catharanthine were prominent components. Vinblastine could also be detected by a combination of HPLC and radioimmunoassay, though at a level of only 0.05μg/g dry weight.

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Gamborg's B5 nutrient salts


combined liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry


fresh weight




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Correspondence to A. J. Parr.

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Communicated by W. Barz

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Parr, A.J., Peerless, A.C.J., Hamill, J.D. et al. Alkaloid production by transformed root cultures of Catharanthus roseus . Plant Cell Reports 7, 309–312 (1988).

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  • Alkaloid
  • Growth Medium
  • Serpentine
  • Root Tissue
  • Root Culture