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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Moraes, Rita
item Bedir, Ebur
item Barrett, Holly
item Burandt Jr , Charles
item Canel, Camilo
item Khan, Ikhlas

Submitted to: Planta Medica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/2001
Publication Date: 4/1/2002
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Podophyllotoxin is an important natural product used to produce several anticancer drugs. The traditional source of podophyllotoxin is Podophyllum hexandrum, an species from Asia. Access to this species is becoming more limited since it has been added to the endangered species list. Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) is a plant native to the United States that is being considered as an alternative source of podophyllotoxin. Lines of mayapples producing high amounts of podophyllotoxin were tested as putative cash crops for small farmers.

Technical Abstract: In an effort to develop a sustainable source of podophyllotoxin for the production of anticancer drugs such as etoposide, teniposide and etopophos, Podophyllum peltatum accessions with podophyllotoxin-rich leaf biomass were identified and transplanted to different growing conditions by vegetative cuttings. Results indicate that the lignan profile in leaves does not change over time or due to environmental conditions. Podophyllotoxin and alpha peltatin content in the blades seems to be stable with an inverse relationship of concentration between these compounds. A podophyllotoxin-rich leaf accession showed low biosynthetic capability to synthesize alpha and beta peltatin and the converse was also true, indicating that selection and cultivation of high-yielding podophyllotoxin leaf biomass may reduce production costs.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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