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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760

Abstract

CHAN, L. K; KOAY, S. S; BOEY, P. L  and  BHATT, A. Effects of abiotic stress on biomass and anthocyanin production in cell cultures of Melastoma malabathricum. Biol. Res. [online]. 2010, vol.43, n.1, pp.127-135. ISSN 0716-9760.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-97602010000100014.

Plant cell cultures could be used as an important tool for biochemical production, ranging from natural coloring (pigments) to pharmaceutical products. Anthocyanins are becoming a very important alternative to synthetic dyes because of increased public concern over the safety of artificial food coloring agents. Several factors are responsible for the production of anthocynin in cell cultures. In the present study, we investigate the effects of different environmental factors, such as light intensity, irradiance (continuous irradiance or continuous darkness), temperature and medium pH on cell biomass yield and anthocyanin production in cultures of Melastoma malabathricum. Moderate light intensity (301 - 600 lux) induced higher accumulation of anthocyanins in the cells. The cultures exposed to 10-d continuous darkness showed the lowest pigment content, while the cultures exposed to 10-d continuous irradiance showed the highest pigment content. The cell cultures incubated at a lower temperature range (20 ± 2 oC) grew better and had higher pigment content than those grown at 26 ± 2oC and 29 ± 2oC. Different medium pH did not affect the yield of cell biomass but anthocyanin accumulation was highest at pH 5.25 - 6.25.

Keywords : irradiance; medium pH; photoperiod; temperature; Melastoma malabathricum.

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