Determination of escin content in androgenic embryos and hairy root culture of Aesculus hippocastanum
Authors:Ćalić-Dragosavac, Dušica D.
Radojević, Ljiljana R.
Zdravković-Korać, Snežana R.
Savikin-Fodulović, Katarina P.
Vinterhalter, Branka S.
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Escin, a group of chemically related triterpenic glycosides, is widely used in commercial preparations for the treatment of venous insufficiency. Since the zygotic embryo cotyledons accumulate the highest amount of escin, it is currently extracted from the seeds of horse chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum L. (Hippocastanaceae), on a large scale. As this material is available during only short period of the year, we studied the possibility of using plant tissue culture to obtain escin. For this purpose, the content of escin in androgenic embryos and hairy root cultures of horse chestnut was studied. Escin content was found to be dependent on the stage of androgenic embryo development and the type of phytoregulator supplemented to the nutritive medium. In the absence of phytoregulators, androgenic embryos at the globular stage of development contained approximately four times less escin than those at the cotyledonary stage. Inclusion of various phytoregulators in the nutritive media stimulated escin production. Among them, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) showed the most pronounced effect, with escin content almost reaching that found in zygotic embryos (6.77% versus 6.96%). Two hairy root clones produced substantial amounts of escin (3.57% and 4.09%), less than zygotic embryos, but higher than cotyledonary embryos on phytoregulator-free medium.</.