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Micropropagation of Arnebia hispidissima (Lehm). DC. and production of alkannin from callus and cell suspension culture

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Alkannin, a red-purple dye and bioactive compound found in the roots of Arnebia hispidissima has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties and is also used in cosmetic and textile industries at a large-scale. In the present communication, we demonstrate the establishment of callus and cell suspension culture of A. hispidissima with the aim of optimizing the production of alkannin. Highest alkannin content was recorded in cell suspension and callus culture established on M-9 medium. Production of alkannin was influenced by the different culture medium. Evaluation of alkannin content of roots of field-grown plants and in vitro grown cell, tissue and organ showed that alkannin production was higher in all in vitro grown culture systems (cell suspension, callus and roots) than the roots of field-grown plants. The present investigation may be applicable in designing systems for the large-scale cultivation of A. hispidissima cell suspensions for the production of alkannin.

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2,4-D :

2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid


Indole-3-acetic acid


Indole-3-butyric acid




Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium


α-naphthalene acetic acid


Plant growth regulators


Photosynthetic photon flux density


Thin layer chromatography


Woody plant medium


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We are grateful to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST), University Grants Commission (UGC) for financial support.

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Correspondence to Mahipal S. Shekhawat.

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Communicated by B. Borkowska.

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Shekhawat, M.S., Shekhawat, N.S. Micropropagation of Arnebia hispidissima (Lehm). DC. and production of alkannin from callus and cell suspension culture. Acta Physiol Plant 33, 1445–1450 (2011).

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