Production of phenolic acids in hairy root cultures of medicinal plant Mentha spicata L. in response to elicitors

Document Type: Original article


Department of Plant Bioproducts, National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB), Tehran, Iran


In this study, hairy root induction in leaf and stem explants of Mentha spicata using various Agrobacterium rhizogenes strains was established for the first time. Although inoculation of explants by immersion method resulted in tissue necrosis, direct injection of explants by all examined strains (A13,R318,A4,GMI 9534 and ATCC15834) was effective. All different parts of the stem were susceptible to A. rhizogenes infection. However, the middle and lower internodes showed a higher rate of transformation. Among the different strains, the strain A13 exhibited the highest infection efficiency (almost 75% of the explants). A13 and R318-infected hairy roots showed the highest biomass production (close to 60 mg/flask), while infection with GMI 9534 produced the highest content of phenolic acids. Finally, the effect of phytohormone elicitation on hairy root growth and phenolic acid biosynthesis was investigated. A substantial increase in root growth and phenolic acids accumulation was obtained followed by 0.3 mg L-1 IBA and 100µM MeJA treatment, respectively.