A dual purpose cell line of an Indian congener of ginseng--Panax sikkimensis with distinct ginsenoside and anthocyanin production profiles.

PMID 25178251


The age-dependent production kinetics of ginsenosides and an anthocyanin pigment in a cell suspension line of Panax sikkimensis was followed in vitro. Highest total saponin content [7.37 mg/g dry weight (DW)] and biomass accumulation (% biomass increase = 209.67) in this line occurred after 3 and 5 weeks of culture, respectively. Accumulation of individual protopanaxatriol (Re, Rg1, and Rg2) and protopanaxadiol (Rb1, Rb2, and Rc) ginsenosides showed a variable pattern of accumulation independent of cell biomass buildup during the 7-week culture cycle. However, total content of triol ginsenosides was always significantly more than the diol group of ginsenosides, being 183.2-, 63.5-, and 72.1-folds at third, fourth, and fifth week stage of cell growth. Interestingly, in addition to these ginsenosides, the cell line also co-accumulated an anthocyanin pigment in vitro. The pigment content increased gradually from 8.66 to 14.29 mg/g DW after first to fifth week followed by a marginal fall to 12.79 and 10.95 mg/g DW during next 2 weeks. Therefore, in terms of total recovery of saponins (77.4 mg/l) and anthocyanin (199.16 mg/l), harvesting of cells after 3 and 5 weeks of growth was most profitable, respectively. The possible utility of this dual purpose cell line in nutraceutical industry is discussed.