Genetic transformation of Rhamnus fallax and hairy roots as a source of anthraquinones
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Hairy roots of Rhamnus fallax Boiss. were induced using Agrobacterium rhizogenes strain A4M70GUS. The culture established on Woody plant media (WPM) showed a typical hairy root phenotype: rapid growth, reduced apical dominance and root plagiotropism. Seven clones of R. fallax were selected on the basis of their differences in colour and the root branching. The growth of hairy root culture, measured through gain in fresh mass, was done under 16-h photoperiod or in the dark. An increase in anthraquinone (AQ) content was obtained in clones with yellow and less branched roots, like clone 1 [16.43 mg g(-1)(d.m.)] and clone 7 [14.21 mg g(-1)(d.m.)], compared with other analysed transformed and non-transformed tissue. This study presents the first report of successful transformation of any species from family Rhamnaceae by A. rhizogenes and analysis of AQ production in transformed tissue.