Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 38, Issue 12, pp 2007–2014 | Cite as

Statistical experimental designs for the production of secondary metabolites in plant cell suspension cultures

  • Christian Schmitz
  • Leonie Fritsch
  • Rainer Fischer
  • Stefan Schillberg
  • Stefan Rasche


Statistical experimental designs, also known as the “design of experiments” (DoE) approach, are widely used to improve not only technical processes but also to answer questions in the agricultural, medical and social sciences. Although many articles have been published about the application of DoE in these fields, few studies have addressed the use of DoE in the plant sciences, particularly in the context of plant cell suspension cultures (PCSCs). Compounds derived from PCSCs can be developed as pharmaceuticals, chemical feedstocks and cosmetic ingredients, and statistical experimental designs can be used to improve the productivity of the cells and the yield and/or quality of the target compounds in a cost efficient manner. In this article, we summarize recent findings concerning the application of statistical approaches to improve the performance of PCSCs and discuss the potential future applications of this approach.


Design of experiments (DoE) Factorial design One-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) Plant cell cultivation Process optimization 



The authors are grateful to Dr. Richard Twyman for his assistance with editing the manuscript and Maastricht University for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased MaterialsMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IMEAachenGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Molecular BiotechnologyRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Phytopathology and Applied Zoology, Phytopathology DepartmentJustus-Liebig University GiessenGiessenGermany

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