A cell suspension culture of Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), a South African plant with high medicinal value, cultivated under submerged conditions showed stable growth and accumulated high amounts of biomass (18. 2 g l-1). Flow cytometry analyses of the suspension's cell cycle kinetics showed that proportions of cells in G0/G1 and S phases varied insignificantly (between 69-76% and 9-13%, respectively) during the cultivation, while the proportion of G2/M-phase cells increased until day 8 of cultivation, when the exponential phase of cell growth ended. Metabolite production in the culture was studied through simultaneous determination of three bioactive phenylethanoid glycosides (verbascoside, β-OH-verbascoside and leucosceptoside A) by high performance liquid chromatography. It was found that suspended Devil's claw cells accumulated mainly verbascoside (517. 3 mg l-1), followed by leucosceptoside A (107. 1 mg l-1) and β-OH-verbascoside (80. 3 mg l-1). In addition, several fatty acids and β-sitosterol were identified in the cell suspension by gas chromatographic-mass spectrometry analysis. Comparison of the results with previously acquired data for Harpagophytum procumbens transformed roots indicate that cell suspensions cultures are more promising as potential commercial sources of metabolites such as phenylethanoid glycosides.
- Flow cytometry
- Harpagophytum procumbens cell culture