Triacontanol Improves Production of Anticancer Alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus L.
Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don is a medicinal plant that bears indole alkaloids used in cancer chemotherapy. The anticancer alkaloids, viz. vinblastine and vincristine, are mainly present in leaves of C. roseus. As there is high demand and low yield of these alkaloids in C. roseus, alternative ways to improve alkaloid production are needed. Hence, it was hypothesized that Triacontanol (TRIA), a potent plant growth promoting substance for various medicinal and agricultural crops, would improve alkaloid production in C. roseus. A pot culture experiment was carried out and the effects of TRIA on production of total alkaloids including anticancer alkaloids were evaluated at 120 and 150 days after planting. Four concentrations of TRIA [10-0 (Control) 10-7, 10-6 and 10-5 M] were tested through leaf spraying. TRIA at 10-6 M significantly increased yield attributes. As compared to the control (10-0 M), leaf-applied TRIA at 10-6 M improved the production (yield) of anticancerous alkaloids vinblastine (+71.6%) and vincristine (+73.1%) and caused the highest content and yield of vindoline.
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