6. Production of Natural Products by Plant Cell and Organ Cultures

  1. Michael Wink Professor
  1. August-Wilhelm Alfermann

Published Online: 23 FEB 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444318876.ch6

Annual Plant Reviews Volume 39: Functions and Biotechnology of Plant Secondary Metabolites, Second edition

Annual Plant Reviews Volume 39: Functions and Biotechnology of Plant Secondary Metabolites, Second edition

How to Cite

Alfermann, A.-W. (2010) Production of Natural Products by Plant Cell and Organ Cultures, in Annual Plant Reviews Volume 39: Functions and Biotechnology of Plant Secondary Metabolites, Second edition (ed M. Wink), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444318876.ch6

Editor Information

  1. Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Div. Biology, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Author Information

  1. University of Düsseldorf, Institute of Molecular Biology of Plants, Universitätsstr. 1, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 FEB 2010
  2. Published Print: 2 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405185288

Online ISBN: 9781444318876

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Keywords:

  • plant cell cultures;
  • organ cultures;
  • hairy roots;
  • plant natural products;
  • elicitation;
  • biosynthesis;
  • RNAi;
  • formation of natural products in recombinant microorganisms

Summary

Natural products have been used as medicines, food additives or in technical applications by humans since thousands of years. Due to various reasons, a sufficient supply of the plant raw material has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Since more than 30 years, laboratories worldwide are trying to produce natural products for commercial application with plant cell and organ cultures. The commercial success of this research is still very limited, due to too low product yields resulting into production costs, which are not acceptable. Among organ cultures, root and hairy root cultures are the most promising for the production of secondary metabolites in good yields. This chapter describes the methods used to overcome these intrinsic problems in product yields and the hopes which are set on the new developments to transfer the appropriate plant genes into microorganisms, which may become more applicable for large scale production of plant natural products than plant cells themselves. First results in this field, e.g. the synthesis of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids in recombinant yeast cells, are already very promising.