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Direct rhizogenesis and establishment of fast growing normal root organ culture of Withania somnifera Dunal

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Direct rooting from leaf explants of Withania somnifera was achieved on half strength Murashige and Skoog’s medium supplemented with 15 g l−1 sucrose, and different concentrations of growth regulators. Basal medium supplemented with 2.85 μM indoleacetic acid and 9.85 μM indolebutyric acid achieved maximum number of roots with 100% response. The roots were cultured on MS liquid medium for the establishment of root-organ culture with the same plant growth regulators and incubated on an orbital shaker at 80 rpm at 25 ± 2 °C. A root biomass of 6.15 ± 0.17 g was obtained after 5 weeks. When 1 g roots were inoculated to 2.5 l bubble column reactor, 47 g roots were obtained after 6 weeks. The concentration of alkaloids was increased as compared to field grown roots. The maximum concentration of withanolides (10 mg g−1 dry weight) was obtained in the bioreactor.

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indoleacetic acid


indolebutyric acid

MS Medium:

Murashige and Skoog’s medium


1-naphthaleneacetic acid


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The authors thank Mr. N.G.V. Rao, PDKV Akola and Ms. Talmale, Insecticide Testing Lab, Amravati for their kind co-operation during Sonication and HPLC analysis.

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Correspondence to P.A. Wadegaonkar.

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Wadegaonkar, P., Bhagwat, K. & Rai, M. Direct rhizogenesis and establishment of fast growing normal root organ culture of Withania somnifera Dunal. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 84, 223–225 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-005-9011-0

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  • alkaloids
  • Ashwagandha
  • bubble column reactor
  • untransformed root-organ culture
  • withanolides