Genetic Transformation in Swertia japonica

  • K. Ishimaru
  • K. Shimomura
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 38)


The genus Swertia belongs to the gentian family Gentianaceae and consists of 50 or more species. Swertia plants, mostly native to Europe, temperate Asia, and North America (in moist soils where summers are not excessively hot), such as S. perennis, S. perfoliata, S. petiolata, and S. multicaulis, are suitable for native plant gardens, sometimes chosen for rock gardens, and other naturalistic plantings (Everett 1982). The name commemorates the 16th century Dutch gardener and author Emanuel Sweert; the plant is known to contain several pharmaceutical compounds, and is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a choleretic and diuretic agent. The secoiridoid glycoside, bitter principles, and xanthone derivatives are characteristic constitutents of this genus. S. cincta, containing a triterpene saponin, swericinctoside, which exhibits anti-inflammatory activity, is a medicinal herb used for infectious hepatitis (Tang and Eisenbrand 1992). From some other plants such as S. devidi, S. patens, S. randaiensis, S. mussotii, various xanthone derivatives and bitter principles, spasmolytic agents which are effective in the treatment of enteritis and acute bacillary dysentery, were also isolated (Tang and Eisenbrand 1992). For details of the importance, secondary metabolites and in vitro culture of Swertia species, see Miura (1991).


Hairy Root Callus Culture Hairy Root Culture Triterpene Saponin Gentisic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Ishimaru
    • 1
  • K. Shimomura
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied Biological Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureSaga UniversitySaga 840Japan
  2. 2.Tsukuba Medicinal Plant Research StationNational Institute of Health SciencesTsukuba, Ibaraki 305Japan

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