Plant Biotechnology Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 357–369 | Cite as

Culture medium optimization for camptothecin production in cell suspension cultures of Nothapodytes nimmoniana (J. Grah.) Mabberley

  • Vijai Singh KarwasaraEmail author
  • Vinod Kumar Dixit
Original Article


The effect of culture medium nutrients on growth and alkaloid production by plant cell cultures of Nothapodytes nimmoniana (J. Grah.) Mabberley (Icacinaceae) was studied with a view to increasing the production of the alkaloid camptothecin, a key therapeutic drug used for its anticancer properties. Amongst the various sugars tested with Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium, such as glucose, fructose, maltose, and sucrose, maximum accumulation of camptothecin was observed with sucrose. High nitrate in the media supports the biomass, while high ammonium enhances the camptothecin content. Selective feeding of 60 mM total nitrogen with a NH4 +/NO3 balance of 5/1 on day 15 of the culture cycle results in a 2.4-fold enhancement in the camptothecin content over the control culture (28.5 μg/g DW). Furthermore, the sucrose feeding strategy greatly stimulated cell biomass and camptothecin production. A modified MS medium was developed in the present study, which contained 0.5 mM phosphate, a nitrogen source feeding ratio of 50/10 mM NH4 +/NO3 and 3 % sucrose with additional 2 % sucrose feeding (added on day 12 of the cell culture cycle) with 10.74 μM naphthaleneacetic acid and 0.93 μM kinetin. Finally, the selective medium has 1.7- and 2.3-fold higher intracellular and extracellular camptothecin content over the control culture (29.2 and 8.2 μg/g DW), respectively.


Cell suspension culture Camptothecin Nothapodytes Sucrose 



V.S.K. acknowledges University Grant Commission (Basic scientific research fellowship for meritorious students, grant letter no. F.4-1/2006-BSR/7-57/2007-BSR), New Delhi for providing research fellowship. Authors also acknowledge Dr. D.P. Fulzele, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India for the kind gift of standard CPT and Prof. Suresh G. Killedar, Bharati Vidyapeeth Pharmacy College, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India, for his kind help in collection of the N. nimmoniana plant specimens.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology and Springer Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesDr. Hari Singh Gour UniversitySagarIndia

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