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Astragaloside IV and polysaccharide production by hairy roots of Astragalus membranaceus in bioreactors


Hairy roots of Astragalus membranaceus were grown in bioreactors up to 30 l for 20 d. Cultures from a 30 l airlift bioreactor gave 11.5 g l dry wt with 1.4 mg g−1 astragaloside IV, similar to cultures from 250 ml and 1 l flasks, but greater than yields from a 10 l bioreactor (dry wt 9.4 g l−1, astragaloside IV 0.9 mg g−1). Polysaccharide yields were similar amongst the different bioreactors (range 25–32 mg g−1). The active constituent content of the cells approached that of plant extracts, indicating that large scale hairy root cultures of A. membranaceus has the potential to provide an alternative to plant crops without compromising yield or pharmacological potential.

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Correspondence to M. Du.

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Du, M., Wu, X., Ding, J. et al. Astragaloside IV and polysaccharide production by hairy roots of Astragalus membranaceus in bioreactors. Biotechnology Letters 25, 1853–1856 (2003).

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  • astragaloside IV
  • Astragalus membranaceus
  • bioreactor
  • hairy roots
  • polysaccharide