Salicylic acid and ultrasonic stress modulated gene expression and ginsenoside production in differentially affected Panax quinquefolius (L.) and Panax sikkimensis (Ban.) cell suspensions

  • Tanya BiswasEmail author
  • Archana Mathur
  • Vikrant Gupta
  • Manju Singh
  • A. K. Mathur
Original Article


Biomass and in vitro ginsenoside accumulation in cell suspensions of Panax quinquefolius (L.) and P. sikkimensis (Ban.) are differentially affected, under influence of salicylic acid (SA; 100 and 200 µM) and ultrasonic stress (US; 120 W US power, 15 s). SA addition to P. quinquefolius, was observed to lead to decline in biomass accumulation; however SA100 treatment for 5 days led to a 2.6-fold increase in ginsenoside production and Rg3 induction and exudation (6.4 mg/L). Marginally declined growth and ginsenoside productivity was observed on US exposure (% BI or biomass increment = 150.2, ginsenoside = 24.9 mg/L) as compared to unchallenged cultures (% BI = 157.5, ginsenoside = 27.2 mg/L). Co-application of US to SA100 and SA200 treatments for 5 days, although had no significant effect on cell biomass, however led to a further decline in ginsenoside productivity (SA100 + US = 48.6 mg/L, SA200 + US = 27.9 mg/L), when compared to cultures treated only with SA (SA100 = 70.5 mg/L, SA200 = 39.4 mg/L). On the other hand, addition of SA100 and SA200 to P. sikkimensis for 1 week led to a sharp decline in biomass and ginsenoside production, when compared to control cultures. Interestingly, growth and ginsenoside productivity was significantly improved upon co-application of US. US exposure was probably “boosting” mechanism of SA action (SA100 + US = %BI = 124.3, ginsenoside = 57.7 mg/L, SA200 + US = % BI = 135.6, ginsenoside = 102.17 mg/L), when compared to cultures treated with only SA (SA100 = % BI = 96.6, ginsenoside = 19.6 mg/L, SA200 = % BI 103.4, ginsenoside = 36.3 mg/L). In brief, SA100 was the best treatment for maximum ginsenoside productivity specially ginsenoside Rg3 from P. quinquefolius, whereas, SA200 + US was observed to be optimal for P. sikkimensis cell suspensions.


Panax quinquefolium Panax sikkimensis Elicitation Salicylic acid Ultrasonic stress 





Salicylic acid


Reactive oxygen species


Mevalonic acid


Isopentenyl phosphate


Farnesyl diphosphate


% Biomass increment



The author is grateful to the Director, CSIR-CIMAP, for providing the necessary infrastructure required to complete the study. B. Tanya is also grateful to the University Grants Commission, India for award of a Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) during the course of the present study.

Author contributions

BT has designed and conducted the experiments and wrote the manuscript. AM has been involved in conceptualizing the experiments and overall supervision and guidance especially with the plant cell cultures. VG has helped with the Real Time PCR experiment set up and analysis. MS has conducted the chemical analysis of the samples. AKM has guided the experimental set up, data analysis and manuscript drafting.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya Biswas
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Archana Mathur
    • 1
  • Vikrant Gupta
    • 1
  • Manju Singh
    • 2
  • A. K. Mathur
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Biotechnology Division, Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic PlantsCouncil of Scientific & Industrial ResearchLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Analytical Chemistry Division, Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic PlantsCouncil of Scientific & Industrial ResearchLucknowIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of LucknowLucknowIndia

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