Genetic Transformation of Vinca minor L.

  • N. Tanaka
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 45)


The lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor L.), a horticultural plant (family Apocynaceae), has lilac-blue flowers that bloom from spring to summer and is mainly cultivated in Europe as ground cover (Fig. 1A). Since the plant also produces vincamine (Fig. 1C), an important alkaloid that accumulates mainly in the leaves, it has also been utilized as a medicinal herb by Europeans for centuries. Indeed, this alkaloid has a powerful hypotensive action; it regulates cerebral circulation, enhances the usage of oxygen by the brain, and is very well tolerated by the human body. Moreover, vinpocetine (Fig. 1C), a derivative of vincamine (Oniscu et al. 1985), is a cerebral vasodilator that is marketed by some pharmaceutical companies in Europe and Japan.


Hairy Root Adventitious Root Genetic Transformation Apical Dominance Indole Alkaloid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Tanaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Gene ScienceHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan

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