The genus Veratrum is distributed throughout the northern temperate and
Arctic regions of Europe, Asia and North America. Veratrum californicum
Duran (Melanthiaceae) is an important monocotyledonous medicinal plant which
is the only source of the anticancer compound cyclopamine. In order to be
able to utilize Veratrum cells in the production of important secondary
metabolites, an in vitro platform is needed. For that purpose, tissue
culture, green plant regeneration and genetic engineering of Veratrum
californicum were developed. Fine suspension cell lines were established from
germinated mature embryos by transferring friable embryogenic calli to AA-
and L2-medium. The suspension cells were cryopreserved successfully and
recovered at a high rate. In addition, a highly embryogenic and regenerating
cell line was established and kept on L2-medium without additional growth
regulators. Very good growth was obtained by employing the temporary
immersion system of RITA -bioreactors. The highly regenerating cell line and
in vitro plantlets contained steroid alkaloids cyclopamine and veratramine.
Furthermore, transformation methods were developed for Veratrum californicum.
Transgenic cell lines were produced by Agrobacterium tumefaciens and A.
rhizogenes -mediated deliveries. Also direct gene transfer techniques such as
particle bombardment and protoplast-based techniques were applied. The basic
tools for the metabolic engineering and biotechnological production of
secondary metabolites of Veratrum californicum are now available.
|Conference||PSE Congress: Plants for Human Health in the Post-Genome Era|
|Period||26/08/07 → 29/08/07|