Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 111–127 | Cite as

Catharanthus roseus alkaloids: application of biotechnology for improving yield

  • Abdul MujibEmail author
  • Abdul Ilah
  • Junaid Aslam
  • Samar Fatima
  • Zahid Hameed Siddiqui
  • Mehpara Maqsood
Review paper


Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don. is a well known medicinal plant. It produces several phyto-compounds many of which show anticancerous properties. The yields of these compounds are however, very low. In this present article, the current development of secondary metabolite synthesis in C. roseus involving biotechnology has been reviewed keeping in mind the various basic factors that influence yield. The importance of cell culture, the role of culturing conditions and other approaches aiming at higher production of alkaloids have been discussed. The genes encoding important enzymes, proteomics, expressed sequence tag and transcription factors in relation to alkaloid yield have also been summarized in order to understand the regulatory mechanisms of C. roseus.


Catharanthus roseus Indole alkaloids Biotechnology In vitro culture conditions 


2, 4-D

2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyaceticacid






Gibberellic acid


High performance liquid chromatography




Murashige and Skoog


α-Naphthalene acetic acid


Plant growth regulator


Somatic embryos


Tryptophan decarboxylase


Strictosidine synthetase



The first author is highly thankful to Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) and Department of Botany, Hamdard University (Jamia Hamdard), New Delhi, for providing financial assistance and other facilities. The help rendered by present and past research students is also acknowledged. We wish to thank anonymous reviewers for their comments on manuscript and critical reading.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdul Mujib
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abdul Ilah
    • 1
  • Junaid Aslam
    • 1
  • Samar Fatima
    • 1
  • Zahid Hameed Siddiqui
    • 1
  • Mehpara Maqsood
    • 1
  1. 1.Cellular Differentiation and Molecular Genetics Section, Department of BotanyHamdard UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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