Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 491–508 | Cite as

Recent trends and comprehensive appraisal for the biotechnological production of trans-resveratrol and its derivatives

  • MingYu Chu
  • Lorena Almagro
  • BaiHong Chen
  • Lorenzo Burgos
  • María Angeles Pedreño


Grapevine is one of the most important fruit crops in the world, due to the production of wine and other beverages, the consumption of grapes as fresh fruits and in the form of raisins. Grapevine produces stilbenes, which are plant phenols characterized by a 1, 2-diphenylethylene backbone. Most plant stilbenes have phytoalexin activity and are derivatives of the monomeric unit trans-resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene). The use of trans-resveratrol and its derivatives obtained from plants is increasing due to the high demand for these compounds as ingredients in the cosmetic, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. However, the natural production of these compounds is insufficient to meet current market demand, for which reason, it is important to develop efficient methods to obtain them in abundance on a commercial scale. At present, the methods used for obtaining trans-resveratrol and derivatives can be divided into three types: extraction from plant raw materials, chemical synthesis and production by biotechnological processes. However, the yield of trans-resveratrol extracted from plants or obtained by chemical synthesis is low and insufficient to meet the increase in demand. As a result, the third option, plant in vitro culture, is increasingly used as an alternative biotechnological strategy to increase the production of these compounds. This review describes how the optimization of culture conditions and the different factors associated with cell growth, as well as elicitation strategies could increase the production of trans-resveratrol and its derivatives by using plant in vitro cultures. Special attention is paid to grapevine transformation technologies and the metabolic engineering necessary for the production of trans-resveratrol and its derivatives.


Bioproduction Elicitation Metabolic engineering Plant in vitro cultures Stilbenes 



4-Coumaroyl-CoA ligase




Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S






Dry weight


Fresh weight


Gamborg B5 media


Jasmonic acid




Methyl jasmonate


MS media


Murashige and Skoog


Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase


Salicylic acid


Stilbene synthase




Tyrosine ammonia-lyase


α-Naphthalene acetic acid



This work has been supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (BIO2014-51861-R and BIO2017-82374-R) and Fundación Seneca-Agencia de Ciencia y Tecnología de la Región de Murcia (19876/GERM/15). MingYu Chu has been funded by China Scholarship Council, Grant Number 201308620029.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • MingYu Chu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lorena Almagro
    • 2
  • BaiHong Chen
    • 3
  • Lorenzo Burgos
    • 1
  • María Angeles Pedreño
    • 2
  1. 1.Grupo de Biotecnología de Frutales, Departamento de Mejora VegetalCEBAS-CSICMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of BiologyUniversity of MurciaMurciaSpain
  3. 3.College of HorticultureGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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