Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 333–338 | Cite as

Phenolic and flavonoid production and antimicrobial activity of Gymnosporia buxifolia (L.) Szyszyl cell cultures

  • Aloka Kumari
  • Devashan Naidoo
  • Ponnusamy Baskaran
  • Karel Doležal
  • Jaroslav Nisler
  • Johannes Van StadenEmail author
Brief communication


Gymnosporia buxifolia (Celastraceae) is a well-known traditional medicinal plant used to treat various diseases. The aim of the study was to quantify the total phenolic and flavonoid content of cell biomass of G. buxifolia developed in vitro using plant growth regulators (PGRs), phloroglucinol (PG) and an antagonist of cytokinin activity 6-(2-hydroxy-3-methylbenzylamino) purine (PI55). The antibacterial activity of calli was also evaluated. The accumulation of phenolic contents and its antibacterial activity in the cell biomass varied between the treatments as well as the mother plant. Generally, a higher accumulation of phenolic contents translated to improved activity against selected pathogenic bacteria. This was apparent in biomass derived from solid and liquid MS media containing combinations of 5 µM PG, 1.5 µM benzyladenine (BA) or meta-topolin (mT) with or without 1 µM picloram (Pic) and 5 µM PG or PI55, 1 µM BA with or without 0.5 µM Pic respectively. The choice of PGRs, PG and PI55 treatments used during in vitro cell culture systems influenced the therapeutic potential of G. buxifolia. Our results indicate that the cell biomass from suspension and/or solid culture of G. buxifolia could be promising as antibacterial agents with possible applications in the pharmaceutical industry.


Antibacterial activity Biomass Medicinal plant Phenolic content Plant cell culture 



The financial support by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, as well as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Czech Republic (Grant LO1204 from the National Program of Sustainability I.) is gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aloka Kumari
    • 1
  • Devashan Naidoo
    • 1
  • Ponnusamy Baskaran
    • 1
  • Karel Doležal
    • 2
  • Jaroslav Nisler
    • 2
  • Johannes Van Staden
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Life SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal PietermaritzburgScottsvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Biology and Genetics & Laboratory of Growth Regulators, Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Faculty of Science, Palacký University and Institute of Experimental BotanyAcademy of Sciences of Czech RepublicOlomouc-HoliceCzech Republic

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