Effect of the medium pH on the release of secondary metabolites from roots of Datura stramonium, Catharanthus roseus, and Tagetes patula cultured in vitro

L. A. Sáenz-Carbonell, I. E. Maldonado-Mendoza, O. Moreno-Valenzula, R. Clau-Uitz, M. López-Meyer, C. Oropeza, V. M. Loyola-Vargas

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The release of alkaloids from root cultures Datura stramonium and Catharanthus roseus and thiophenes from root cultures of Tagetes patula was found to increase when the pH of the culture media (ranging from 4.8 to 7.0) was reduced to 3.5. The extent of the effect was different in each type of culture. Increases ranged from 4- to 20-fold, which in some cases accounted for 75% of the total secondary metabolite pool produced per flask. When the release of individual metabolites was measured, even larger increases, were observed (nearly 400-fold for ajmalicine). Increased release of alkaloids from C. roseus roots were also observed in cultures growing in a 14-L fermentor, when the medium pH was reduced. Reduction of the pH of the media did not affect growth of the root cultures in subsequent subcultures. The importance of this treatment as a stategy to improve the recovery of secondary metabolites from producing cultures is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes



  • Catharanthus roseus
  • Datura stramonium
  • pH
  • root cultures
  • secondary metabolite release
  • Tagetes patula

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