Withanolide production by in vitro cultures of Withania somnifera and its association with differentiation

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Withanolides-steroidal lactones, isolated from various Solanaceous plants have received considerable attention due to their potential biological activities. Five selected withanolides (withanone, withaferin A, withanolide A, withanolide B, withanolide E) were identified by HPLC-UV (DAD) positive ion electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy in Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal cv. WSR plants and tissues cultured in vitro at different developmental phases. Cultures were established from five explants on Murashige and Skoog's medium supplemented with different plant growth regulators. Results suggest that production of withanolides is closely associated with morphological differentiation.

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