Hairy Roots pp 185-211 | Cite as

Hairy Root-Mediated Biotransformation: Recent Advances and Exciting Prospects

  • Peyman Habibi
  • Carlos Ricardo Soccol
  • Maria Fatima Grossi-de-SaEmail author


For 35 years, hairy roots have been explored as a promising platform for the production of a variety of compounds in different plant systems. Genetic/biochemical stability, the large-scale production of desired metabolites, low-cost cultural requirements and hormone-independent growth made hairy root as an efficient system for synthesis of new molecules required in pharmaceuticals industry. Moreover, these characteristics make hairy root as an ideal biotransformation system to convert administered organic compounds into useful analogs. Since, the synthesis of many natural products is significantly limited by regioselective and stereospecific properties, which subsequently complicates their chemical synthesis, biotransformation via hairy root systems is an alternative for creation of new therapeutic products because of its ability to perform regioselective and stereospecific reactions. Additionally, the hairy root system contained inherent enzymes, which tackle the occurring of biotransformation reactions, including methylation, oxidation, hydroxylation, glycosylation, reduction, isomerization, and esterification. Hence, the hairy root platform can be considered as an efficient and convenient biotransformation system for the production of new agents with desired physico-chemical properties, sufficient solubility, and low toxicity. The present review recapitulates overall reported progress in hairy root-mediated biotransformation, biotransformation strategies, reaction types involved in hairy root biotransformation, the application of hairy root biotransformation, and strategies involved in end product recovery.


Hairy root Biotransformation Metabolites Therapeutic products 



The authors would like to acknowledge EMBRAPA, CNPq, CAPES, and FAP-DF for funding and support, and they report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peyman Habibi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carlos Ricardo Soccol
    • 1
  • Maria Fatima Grossi-de-Sa
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Bioprocess Engineering and BiotechnologyUFPRCuritibaBrazil
  2. 2.Embrapa Genetic Resources and BiotechnologyBrasíliaBrazil
  3. 3.Catholic University of BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  4. 4.Post Graduation Program in BiotechnologyUniversity PotiguarNatalBrazil

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