Promotion of the growth of Crocus sativus cells and the production of crocin by rare earth elements
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La3+ and Ce3+, either singly or a mixture, promoted crocin production of Crocus sativus callus but Nd3+ had little effect and all metal ions were toxic above 100 μM. La3+ (60 μM) promoted growth of callus significantly but increased crocin only slightly. Ce3+ (40 μM) significantly promoted crocin production but had little effect on cell growth. La3+ (60 μM) and Ce3+ (20 μM) together gave the highest dry weight biomass (20.4 g l−1), crocin content (4.4 mg g−1) and crocin production (90 mg l−1) which were, respectively, 1.7-fold, 4.2-fold and 7.1-fold of those without additions. Nd3+ (40 μM) only slightly promoted cell growth and crocin production.
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