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Meeting the challenge of stevioside production in the hairy roots of Stevia rebaudiana by probing the underlying process

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Agrobacterium rhizogenes mediated “hairy root cultures” of the renowned bio-sweetener producing plant—Stevia rebaudiana, were generated to explore their yet undetected biosynthetic potentials concerning the low calorie diterpene glycoside—stevioside. Four stable rhizoclones were studied under light and dark conditions showing better growth under dark. Two of these rhizoclones revealed substantially higher photosynthetic pigment accumulation under light. Evidently, capitalization on the available inter-clonal variability first time showed the stevioside synthesizing exclusivity in the SRA4 rhizoclone under light condition, while the rest failed. The dualities of the glycoside synthesizing power amongst the two photosynthetically active rhizoclones were resolved through quantitative RT-PCR analysis of UGT85C2 gene showing positive expression in the stevioside producing rhizoclone. These findings elucidated the decisive role of UGT85C2 in combination with photosynthetic proficiency of the studied hairy root cultures in regulating the biosynthetic pathway of S. rebaudiana.

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The authors wish to express their sincere gratitude to Prof. A. K. Tripathi, Director, CSIR-CIMAP, for providing the facilities to carry out this research. HP, SSP and SS are thankful to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, New Delhi, India) and PP to Department of Science and Technology (DST, New Delhi, India), for financial supports in the form of fellowships. Sincere thanks are also due to Mr. Vinay Pandey and Mr. Teraiya Darshak R. for their skillful guidance in HPLC. Further acknowledgement also goes to the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR-CIMAP). This work is carried out under an in-house project (OLP-16).

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Correspondence to Suchitra Banerjee.

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Harshita Pandey and Pallavi Pandey have contributed equally to this work.

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Pandey, H., Pandey, P., Pandey, S.S. et al. Meeting the challenge of stevioside production in the hairy roots of Stevia rebaudiana by probing the underlying process. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 126, 511–521 (2016).

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  • Hairy root
  • Photosynthetic pigment
  • Stevia rebaudiana
  • Stevioside
  • qRT-PCR
  • UGT85C2 gene