Biotic elicitation for scopolamine production by hairy root cultures of Datura metel

Document Type : Original article


1 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Advanced Sciences and Technologies, University of Isfahan, 81746-73441, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Isfahan Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


The (-)-hyoscyamine, atropine and scopolamine (hyoscine) are three valuable tropane alkaloids while scopolamine is the most important member of this group for the pharmaceutical industry due to its higher demand compared to hyoscyamine and atropine. Scopolamine is an anticholinergic reagent with several therapeutic applications. In the current study, the hairy roots culture of Daturametel was used as an advantageous method for production of scopolamine. The hairy roots are formed by Agrobacterium rhizogenes and have genetic stability, high growth rate and lateral branching. In this study, the effect of Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus as biotic elicitors on the production of scopolamine in D. metel hairy roots was investigated. The amount of scopolamine in the hairy roots was detected by HPLC analysis and compared with control samples after 0, 12 and 24 hours. Results showed that, B. cereus and S. aureus enhanced scopolamine production in the culture while the atropine content was decreased. Although in the control samples with no bacterial elicitation no scopolamine was detected, elicitation by B. cereus caused production of scopolamine and about 0.03 gram and 0.017 gram of it was detected in 100 gram dried D. metel hairy roots after 12 and 24 hours respectively.  In S. aureus elicited hairy roots, scopolamine was not produced after 12 hours. However, about 0.025 gram of this tropane alkaloid was detected in 100 gram dried hairy roots after 24 hours. In conclusion, S. areus and B. cereus induced the scopolamine production in D. metel hairy roots.


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