Echinaceabiotechnology: Challenges and opportunities

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Echinacea, better known as purple coneflower, has received a global attention because of its increasing medicinal value. There is enormous potential for the discovery of new medicinal compounds in this species and an immediate need for techniques to facilitate the production of high quality, chemically consistent plant material for drug development and clinical trials. In vitro tissue culture of Echinacea can play a vital role in the development of novel germplasm, rapid multiplication, and genetic modifications for an enhanced phytochemical production. Recent establishment of liquid culture techniques, large-scale bioreactors, and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation are changing the production parameters of the Echinacea species. This review provides an overview of the recent developments in in vitro technologies and challenges that remain in the Echinacea biotechnology.

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