Plants are being the important continuous source of pharmacologically active compounds, with many blockbuster drugs being derived directly or indirectly from plants. Despite the current occupation with synthetic chemistry as a vehicle to discover and manufacture drugs, the contribution of plants to disease treatment and prevention is still enormous. However several challenges have been associated with supply of biologically active pharmaceuticals from natural sources. Alternative avenues for plant products have gained prominence during the past few years and plant biotechnology has a major role to play in plant based industries.
Recently the production of secondary metabolites using plant cells has been the subject of extended research. Plant cell culture can be obtained from any plant species. In such culture, each cell has all genes necessary for all the functions of a plant including secondary metabolism. Different strategies can also be applied for the improvement of secondary metabolite production. A recent development to overcome the difficulties arising with cell suspension cultures is the genetic transformation of plants with Agrobacterium rhizogenes. Hairy roots have been found to be suitable for the production of secondary metabolites because of their stable and high productivity in hormone-free culture conditions. Plant transformed technology has now reached a platform of commercial reality.
Last date updated on July, 2014