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Research Paper Open Access
Suspension cultures of Withania somnifera cells were established and shown to produce withaferin A. The identification of withaferin A was done by TLC, UV absorption, HPLC and electron spray mass spectroscopy. These cultures could be strongly elicited by exposure to salacin. Addition of salacin at the concentration of 750 µM to the cultures in production medium enhanced production levels of withaferin A to 25±2.9 mg/l compared to 0.47±0.03 mg/l in unelicited controls. This report is the first to demonstrate withaferin A production in plant suspension cultures and provides prerequisites for commercial scale, controlled production of withaferin A.