Biotechnological aspects of the production of natural sweetener glycyrrhizin from Glycyrrhiza sp.

Abstract

Biotechnology as a frontline technology has been maneuvered in a myriad of ways on Glycyrrhiza glabra that has directly or indirectly benefited the mankind. The roots and stolons of licorice species have long been used worldwide as a herbal medicine and natural sweetener. The main ingredient responsible for sweetness is glycyrrhizin which is used as sweetener agent in many herbal and commercial products. Currently, tissue culture technology has enabled mass production of the elite population in lesser time, an achievement over conventional methods. Glycyrrhizin which is the most important constituent is enhanced by in vitro propagation, elicitation, genetic transformations and bioconversions. Identification and quantification of glycyrrhizin and its related compounds have been successful by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), capillary electrophoresis (CE), UV spectrometry, counter-current chromatography (HSCCC), thin layer chromatography (HPTLC). Advances in molecular markers have unraveled genetic diversity among plant populations and also species, identified specific genes, constructed genetic linkage maps and analyzed genetic relationships. There have been numerous contributions on genetic diversity assessment, mass production and in vitro production of glycyrrhizin in G. glabra in the recent past. Here we review on biotechnological advances in genetic diversity assessment of elite population and mass production and genetic improvement of G. glabra for enhanced production of glycyrrhizin.

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Correspondence to Devendra Kumar Pandey.

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Pandey, D.K., Ayangla, N.W. Biotechnological aspects of the production of natural sweetener glycyrrhizin from Glycyrrhiza sp.. Phytochem Rev 17, 397–430 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-017-9540-2

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Keywords

  • Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • Glycyrrhizin
  • Biosynthesis
  • In vitro cultures
  • Molecular markers
  • Hairy root culture