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In vitro and in situ screening systems for morphological and phytochemical analysis of Withania somnifera germplasms
journal contributionposted on 2014-12-13, 00:00 authored by Leena Johny, Xavier ConlanXavier Conlan, David CahillDavid Cahill, Alok AdholeyaAlok Adholeya
We report, for the first time for Withania somnifera, the use of a modified in vitro system for morphological and phytochemical screening of true to type plants as compared with those grown in a conventional in situ system. Eleven germplasms of cultivated W. somnifera from different regions of India were collected to examine chemotypic variation in withaferin A (WA). Methods were developed to optimize WA extraction. The maximum concentration of WA was extracted from manually ground leaf and root material to which 60 % methanol was added followed by sonication in a water bath sonicator. Variation in WA concentration in whole plants was observed amongst the different germplasms. In the in vitro system, the concentration of WA ranged between 0.27 and 7.64 mg/g dry weight (DW) and in the in situ system, the range in concentration was between 8.06 and 36.31 mg/g DW. The highest amount of WA found in leaves was 7.37 and 41.42 mg/g DW in the in vitro and the in situ systems respectively. In roots, the highest WA concentration was 0.27 mg/g DW in the in vitro and 0.60 mg/g DW in the in situ system. There are distinct advantages in using the in vitro grown plants rather than those grown in the in situ system including the simplicity of design, efficient use of space and nutrition and a system which is soil and contaminant free. The proposed in vitro system is therefore ideal for utilization in molecular, enzymatic and biochemical studies.