Production of Industrial Phytochemicals



The higher plants synthesize an overwhelming range of small organic molecules that are not directly involved in primary metabolic processes of growth and development of the plant but serve it in a variety of other ways, such as chemical defence against microorganisms, insects and higher predators, and as attractant of pollinators and seed dispersing agents. Many of these natural phytochemicals have been used by man to produce a large number of commercial products. The plants are renewable natural resource for these valuable compounds produced at normal temperature and pressure without emitting toxic effluents or gasses. However, due to the dwindling populations of these plants in nature and fluctuations in the yield of industrial phytochemicals due to environmental changes it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain enough economically important metabolites from whole plants. Cell and tissue cultures have proved to be an attractive alternative for the production of industrial phytochemicals. Several strategies, such as manipulation of the culture conditions, genetic enhancement of plant material, application of biotic and abiotic elicitors, biotransformation of low value compounds into high value metabolites by living cell cultures and permeabilization and immobilization of cells have been applied to increase the yield of desired phytochemicals by cultured cells. Hairy root and hairy-like adventitious root cultures have been established for certain system to obtain higher yields of the metabolites. Bioreactors of various types have been designed to scale up the culture of plant cells and hairy roots for commercial production of industrial phytochemicals. Some of the phytochemicals produced in cell and root cultures have been commercialized. Production of recombinant proteins by plant cells has enabled a company in USA to obtain government clearance for the production of plant cell derived vaccine.


Hairy Root Root Culture Hairy Root Culture Secondary Metabolite Production Indole Alkaloid 
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Suggested Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyDayalbagh Educational Institute (Deemed University)AgraIndia

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