pH-mediated release of betalains from transformed root cultures of Beta vulgaris L.

U. Mukundan, V. Bhide, G. Singh, W. R. Curtis

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29 Scopus citations


Brief exposure of Beta vulgaris root cultures to acidic medium resulted in release of betalain pigments while the capability for regrowth and continued pigment accumulation was retained. A 10-min exposure to pH 2 followed by return to standard growth medium (pH 5.5, 1.1 mM PO4) resulted in release of 0.59 mg pigment/g dry weight over the subsequent 24-h period. The released pigment cor responds to 36.8% of the total pigments. Further improvement in culture productivity was achieved through phosphate limitation. Specific pigment productivity increased fivefold for cultures grown in phosphate-free medium as compared to cultures grown in control medium (1.1 mM PO4). A maximum total pigment production of 25.2 mg/l was observed at an initial medium phosphate level 0.3 mM. When combined with phosphate limitation, low pH facilitated the release of 3.03 mg pigment/g dry weight, which corresponds to 50% of the total pigment. The permeabilized roots were capable of regrowth and continued pigment accumulation. A cytochemical assay for respiratory activity revealed that the basis of regrowth was lateral root initials that were unaffected during the acidic pH treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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