Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 136, Issue 2, pp 407–413 | Cite as

Optimization of active compounds production by interaction between nitrate and copper in Sphaeralcea angustifolia cell suspension using Response Surface Methodology

  • Juanita Pérez-Hernández
  • Aurora Martínez-Trujillo
  • Pilar Nicasio-TorresEmail author
Research Note


Cells in suspension from Sphaeralcea angustifolia produce compounds with anti-arthritic activity (scopoletin, tomentin, and sphaeralcic acid) in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with 2.74 mM of total nitrate content. The effect of nitrate and copper contents in the MS medium on the growth of cell suspension and the production of active compounds were tested by means of 2k factorial design (FD) and Central Composite Design (CCD). The growth rate and the duplication time were statically similar and the maximal biomass (9–11 days) was improved by increases of the nitrate concentration. Highest contents of coumarins (4137.00 µg L−1) and sphaeralcic acid (1441.00 µg L−1) were obtained in the culture media by the interaction of 2.74 mM of nitrates and 2 µM of copper at 2 and 4 days; sphaeralcic acid contents were similar to those detected intracellularly after 9 and 11 days of culture. According to the CCD, highest contents of coumarins (4008.00 µg L−1) and sphaeralcic-acid (6107.00 µg L−1) could be obtained with 2.35 µM of copper with 2.42 mM of total nitrate, this condition did not affect the cell growth. The coumarin content is 40-fold and that of the sphaeralcic-acid is 30-fold higher than those detected in biomass. The S. angustifolia cell suspension could be cultured in a stirred tank bioreactor in a batch or in a continuous manner for the production of scopoletin, tomentin, and sphaeralcic-acid.


Anti-inflammatories Inmunomodulators Scopoletin Sphaeralcic acid Tomentin 



Complete Freud’s adjuvant


Central composite design


Factorial design


Maximal growth rate


Murashige and Skoog medium


Response surface methodology


Duplication time


Tumor necrosis factor alpha


Author Contributions

JP-H participated in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and the writing of the manuscript. AM-T participated in the design of the study, interpretation of data, and writing of manuscript. PN-T participated in the conception and design of the study, as well as the writing of manuscript, and approved the final version to be submitted.


This study was financed by the Fondo de Investigación en Salud, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (Grant Number FIS/IMSS/PROT/G17/1683).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11240_2018_1516_MOESM1_ESM.docx (88 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 87 KB)
11240_2018_1516_MOESM2_ESM.docx (27 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 27 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Investigación Biomédica del Sur (CIBIS)Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS)XochitepecMexico
  2. 2.División de Ingeniería Química y BioquímicaTecnológico de Estudios Superiores de EcatepecEcatepec de MorelosMexico

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