Hypericin and hyperforin production in St. John's wort in vitro culture: Influence of saccharose, polyethylene glycol, methyl jasmonate, and Agrobacterium tumefaciens
Influence of saccharose in the presence or absence of polyethylene glycol (PEG), methyl jasmonate, and an inactivated bacterial culture of Agrobacterium tumefaciens in cultivation medium on morphology of Hypericum perforatum L. and production of hypericin and hyperforin was studied under in vitro conditions. Production of hypericin and hyperforin was influenced by the presence of different concentrations of saccharose (10-30 g L-1) in cultivation medium. Addition of PEG (1.25-5 g L-1) in the presence of saccharose (10-30 g L-1) increased production of hypericin and hyperforin in the H. perforatum in vitro culture. Synthesis of hypericin and hyperforin was unchanged or reduced for most of the experimental plants at higher contents of PEG (10 and 15 g L-1). Concentrations of hypericin and hyperforin in the H. perforatum were on the order 10(0) and 10(3) mu g g(-1) of dry plant material, respectively. Production of hypericin and hyperforin was stimulated either in the presence of a chemical elicitor (methyl jasmonate) or an inactivated bacterial culture of A. tumefaciens. Morphological changes induced by the abovementioned substances were observed and described in detail. The obtained results will be applied in experimental botany and in the technology of H. perforatum cultivation for pharmaceutical applications.