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Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kurz (Acanthaceae) has long been used in Thai traditional medicine for treatment of tinea versicolor, ringworm, pruritic rash, and abscess. The active constituents are known as a group of naphthoquinone esters, rhinacanthins. This work focused on establishment of R. nasutus root cultures and determination of rhinacanthin production. Induction of R. nasutus root formation was accomplished on solid Gamborg's B5 (B5) medium, supplied with 0.1 mg/L indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and 20 g/L sucrose. The effects of explants (whole leaf explants and four-side excised leaf explants), light and medium composition on root and rhinacanthin formation were investigated. The root formation from the whole leaf explants was 10 times higher than that from the four-side excised leaf explants. In addition, light possessed an inhibitory effect on the root and rhinacanthin formation of R. nasutus. Medium manipulation found that Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplied with 3 mg/L IBA and 30 g/L sucrose was the most suitable for induction of the root formation. Unfortunately, the obtained root cultures produced only rhinacanthin-C in very low amount, 0.026 mg/g dry weight (DW), when they were transferred into the same MS liquid medium. With semisolid medium (4 g/L agar) of the same MS composition, however, the root cultures appeared to produce higher content of rhinacanthin-C, -D and -N (3.45, 0.07 and 0.07 mg/g DW, respectively). Our finding suggests that culturing in semisolid medium is capable of improving of rhinacanthin production in R. nasutus root cultures.
Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, Prince of Songkla University, Hat-Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Pharmaceutical biology
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