Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 6, pp 2583–2595 | Cite as

Enhanced production and identification of antioxidants in in vitro cultures of the cacti Mammillaria candida and Turbinicarpus laui

  • Antonio Reyes-Martínez
  • Marilena Antunes-Ricardo
  • Janet Gutiérrez-Uribe
  • María del Socorro Santos-DíazEmail author
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Cacti are an important source of metabolites but present limitations for their commercial exploitation, like slow growth and a decrease of wild populations. An alternative to obtain their biocompounds without affecting the natural environment are the in vitro culture techniques. We established in vitro cultures from Mammillaria candida Scheidweiler and Turbinicarpus laui Glass and Foster and used different stresses to increase metabolites and antioxidant activity. The cultures were exposed to 1.25% polyethylene glycol to induce a moderate drought stress, 50 g L−1 sucrose to generate an osmotic stress, chitosan (1.25 to 5 mg mL−1) to simulate a biotic attack, or to UV light. Chitosan was the best elicitor improving 1.5 times the concentration of phenolics, 9 to 10 times the content of flavonoids and betalains, and 16% the antioxidant activity in M. candida suspensions. In T. laui suspensions, this elicitor duplicates the flavonoids content and antioxidant activity. The antioxidant levels in elicited suspensions increased 5 to 10 times in relation to plant tubercles. Eleven compounds were identified in M. candida suspensions being digalloyl rhamnoside and epicatequin gallate the most abundant; in the T. laui suspensions, 16 compounds were detected and the most abundant were 17-decarboxi neobetanin and derivatives of luteolin. Thus, cacti in vitro culture is an efficient system to obtain high level of metabolites of biological interest.


Antioxidants Betalains Mammillaria candida Phenolics Turbinicarpus laui 


Funding information

We are grateful to CONACYT for the scholarship to ARM (no. 401860).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2019_9656_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (252 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 252 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias QuímicasUASLP, San Luis Potosí MéxicoSan Luis PotosíMexico
  2. 2.Centro de Biotecnología-FEMSA, Tecnológico de MonterreyMonterreyMexico
  3. 3.Tecnologico de Monterrey, Department of Bioengineering and Science, Campus PueblaPueblaMexico

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