Secondary metabolite production from plant tissue culture


 Plant kingdom is the rich source of organic compounds and called as phytochemicals. At the metabolic level Plants produce a variety of compounds that can be divided into two groups’ i.e. Primary metabolites and Secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites are essential for the survival of plant which includes sugars, proteins, amino acids and vitamins. Secondary metabolites are organic compounds which are not primarily necessary for growth, development and reproduction. They are biosynthetically derived from primary metabolites. In plants Secondary metabolites provide additional survival advantages against:

  • Biotic stress – Competitors, Predators and Parasites
  • Abiotic stresses

The diversity in plant kingdom is not only at the level of genotype or phenotype; it can also be at the level of secondary metabolite. This is called plant secondary metabolite diversity or plant Chemodiversity. Secondary metabolite supports the survival and existence of life and propagation of plants under biotic and abiotic stresses. The Secondary Metabolites of plants is a valuable product for both plants as well as humans. The valuable products for human utilizations are pharmaceuticals, recreational drugs, food ingredients, cosmetics, flavours, fragrances and so on. So there is a need of these secondary metabolites at the industrial scale. For the mass production of plant secondary metabolites at commercial level, it needs plant tissue culture (PTC) technique, using desired explants for mass production of specific secondary metabolites in the suspension culture (in liquid). Some of the plants have antimicrobial (Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal etc.) and insecticidal properties and some are toxic and hallucinogenic in nature. There are many culture methods of explants for getting desired product but hairy root culture (suspension culture) method is the most useful method for commercial purposes. The use of plant tissue and cell cultures has overcome several barriers for the production of desired secondary metabolites. Systematic production unit, skilled workers, basic infrastructures and smart and scientific maintains and novel culture methods, can make a significant contribution in the production of secondary metabolites. This topic will explain step by step for better understanding.

 This chapter contains sections titled: