Saponins in tissue culture ofPrimula verisL.

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Roots of Primula veris L. contain considerable amounts of triterpene saponins, which are used in medicine as expectorants. P. veris is in many places an endangered plant, and its production in the field is laborious and a low yielding process. Plant tissue culture provides an alternative means for producing secondary metabolites. Shoot apex, callus, suspension, and root cultures of P. veris were developed for saponin production. In these cultures, the content of triterpene saponins, with focus on primula acid I, the most dominant saponin in Primula species, was determined and compared to that in soil-grown plants. The highest content of primula acid I was observed in root cultures, on average 29.5 mg/g dry weight. Some culture lines contained higher amounts of primula acid I (62.6 mg/g dry weight) than the roots of plants grown in soil.

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