Keywords: Citrullus colocynthis , Methyl jasmonate (MeJA), Salicylic acid (SA), Elicitors, Precursors, Cucurbitacin E, Squalene and mevalonic acid
Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schard (Cucurbitaceae) is an endangered medicinal herb. It contains glycosides, cucurbitacins (colocynthin and colocynthetin), cucurbitacins A, B, C, D, E, I, J, K and L which are having medicinal values in various parts of the plant. Cucurbitacin E, a highly oxidated steroid consisting of a tetracyclic triterpene which is more potential triterpenoid for anti-cancer. In this study, we made an attempt to investigate the effect of elicitors with methyl jasmonate (MeJA), salicylic acid (SA), precursors like squalene and mevalonic acid as abiotic elicitors. Precursors were used for enhancement production of cucurbitacin E through cell suspension culture and in vitro plant cultures of Citrullus colocynthis. Based on HPLC results, MeJA is better elicitor than SA and in precursors squalene is better than mevalonic acid for cucurbitacin E production from Citrullus colocynthis cell suspension and in vitro plant cultures. Among all the concentration of elicitors MeJA, SA and precursors squalene, mevalonic acid, 75 µM concentrations have shown best results and MeJA showed highest peak area of 17.97 with 8.63 fold in cell suspension culture. Whereas, the effect of elicitor and precursor feeding studies in in vitro plant culture have produced high amount of cucurbitacin E at 100 µM concentration. Hence, the protocol established in the present study provides an opportunity for enhancement of biological active (anticancer) compound cucurbitacin E.
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The Principal Investigator Dr. T. Shasthree is thankful to UGC New Delhi for financial assistance in the form of Major Research Project Vide F. No.: 41-530/2012 (SR) during July 2012–July 2015 for this work. Also thanks to Department of Biotechnology, Kakatiya University Warangal for providing facilities.