Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 550–555 | Cite as

Interpreting the role of phosphorus and growth rate in enhanced fungal induction of sesquiterpenes from Hyoscyamus muticus root cultures

  • Sachin Pannuri
  • G. Ramakrishna Reddy
  • Dianne McNeill
  • Wayne R. Curtis
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


The effect of thiamine limitation in combination with fungal elicitation on sesquiterpene (solavetivone) production was studied in Agrobacterium-transformed “hairy-root” cultures of Hyoscyamus muticus as a potential means of manipulating the growth rate independent of phosphorus availability. Limiting the initial supply of thiamine did not affect the growth of these cultures compared to growth at the control level of thiamine (0.01 g/l). There was also no enhancement in sesquiterpene production when thiamine supply was limited. Serial culturing in thiamine-free media suggests that these root cultures are not strictly auxotrophic for thiamine, in contrast to previously published results for untransformed root culture. The effect of phosphate limitation combined with elicitation on the production of solavetivone was examined at constant media volume to provide a constant elicitor concentration and to eliminate feedback-inhibition effects. Limiting the initial supply of phosphate to elicited cultures resulted in a twofold increase in solavetivone production as compared to the elicitation at control media phosphate levels (1.1mm). Because growth was attenuated, production per unit cell mass increased 11-fold compared to the control. The effect of phosphate limitation on solavetivone production at constant cell mass and elicitor per root mass was studied. Limiting the initial supply of phosphate to elicited cultures under these conditions did not result in enhanced production of solavetivone. The initially observed enhanced production of solavetivone at limiting initial phosphate concentrations is therefore due to factors other than the growth rate or phosphate involvement in secondary metabolism.


Thiamine Root Culture Sesquiterpene Phosphate Limitation Untransformed Root 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sachin Pannuri
    • 1
  • G. Ramakrishna Reddy
    • 1
  • Dianne McNeill
    • 1
  • Wayne R. Curtis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering/Biotechnology InstituteThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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