Production of tropane alkaloids in diploid and tetraploid plants and in vitro hairy root cultures of Egyptian henbane (Hyoscyamus muticus L.)

Esmail Dehghan, Suvi T. Häkkinen, Kirsi Marja Oksman-Caldentey, Farajollah Shahriari Ahmadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


In this study, the effects of ploidy level and culture medium were studied on the production of tropane alkaloids. We have successfully produced stable tetraploid hairy root lines of Hyoscyamus muticus and their ploidy stability was confirmed 30 months after transformation. Tetraploidy affected the growth rate and alkaloid accumulation in plants and transformed root cultures of Egyptian henbane. Although tetraploid plants could produce 200% higher scopolamine than their diploid counterparts, this result was not observed for corresponding induced hairy root cultures. Culture conditions did not only play an important role for biomass production, but also significantly affected tropane alkaloid accumulation in hairy root cultures. In spite of its lower biomass production, tetraploid clone could produce more scopolamine than the diploid counterpart under similar growth conditions. The highest yields of scopolamine (13. 87 mg l -1) and hyoscyamine (107. 7 mg 1 -1) were obtained when diploid clones were grown on medium consisting of either Murashige and Skoog with 60 g/l sucrose or Gamborg's B5 with 40 g/l sucrose, respectively. Although the hyoscyamine is the main alkaloid in the H. muticus plants, manipulation of ploidy level and culture conditions successfully changed the scopolamine/hyoscyamine ratio towards scopolamine. The fact that hyoscyamine is converted to scopolamine is very important due to the higher market value of scopolamine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow cytometry
  • GC-MS
  • Hairy root cultures
  • Hyoscyamus muticus
  • Ploidy level
  • Tropane alkaloids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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