Submitted to: Zhongcaoyao
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Traditional Chinese medicinal compounds are found in the plant Cassia obtusifolia which is a relative of senna. Preparations of senna have been used for many years as a laxative. To facilitate commercial production of these compounds, a special type of fast- growing root culture called "hairy roots" were established. Hairy roots result when a plant has had a piece of DNA from a bacterium called Agrobacterium rhizogenes incorporated into the plant's DNA. Initial research looked at the membrane composition of the roots to determine if these were typical of the normal plant. If the cell's membrane composition is altered, then often the compounds produced by the cell will also be different. The results showed that the membrane components were similar to normal roots. Since the membrane composition of hairy roots is similar to normal roots, it would be expected that the compounds in these roots would be similar to normal roots but with the added advantage of growing much more rapidly. Additional studies will determine the levels of useful compounds produced in the cultures.
Technical Abstract: The hairy root cultures of Cassia obtusifolia induced by Agribacterium rhizogens were established to investigate the composition and biosynthesis of phytosterols. The effects of rare earth element Eu on the growth of hairy roots were also investigated. Twelve different sterols were isolated from the hairy roots. They were identified by chromatographic (TLC, GLC, and HPLC) and spectral method (MS). The biosynthetic pathways leading to the production of major sterols were proposed based on the investigation results.