Smita Srivastava has completed her PhD from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai. Her research experience and expertise is in the area of Bioprocess Engineering with sixteen first author International publications in reputed Scientific Journals and Books with close to hundred and seventy five citations till date. Her current research interest is in the development of novel strategies for yield and productivity enhancement of high value plant secondary metabolites through metabolic engineering and in vitro plant-microbe interactions.


Many reports have been published on bioprospecting of endophytic fungi capable of producing CPT. However, only few studies have been undertaken on bioprocess development and subsequent optimization for yield and productivity enhancement of CPT by in vitro cultivation of these endophytic fungi. Hence, there is an immense scope and urgent need for optimized bioprocess development based on microbial fermentation technology for large-scale production of CPT. In the present study, an endophytic fungal strain of Fusarium solani MTCC 9668 was procured from Microbial Type Culture Collection, Chandigarh, India and suspension culture of F. solani was initiated in potato dextrose medium (PDB) using spore inoculum to investigate and optimize CPT production. Low (up to 0.5 µg CPT/g biomass (DW)) and inconsistent production of CPT (significant attenuation after 5th subculture) was observed in the suspension culture developed on PDB. Thus, in an attempt to enhance the production of CPT, shake flask experiments were performed involving exogenous addition of non-CPT producing plant extracts to F. solani suspension culture. Interestingly, in comparison to that in control (~0.5 µg CPT/g biomass), addition of the plant extract in the culture broth resulted in ~7 folds enhancement in CPT yield (3.4 µg/g DW) and ~1.5 folds enhancement in total biomass. The results obtained were found to be consistent and reproducible contrary to that observed in control. Preliminary investigations indicate multiple mode of action responsible for increased biomass and CPT production observed in the study. A provisional patent has also been filed to Indian patent office on the optimized bioprocess developed for CPT production by endophytes (Application no. 3638/CHE/2013). Based on the key leads obtained it can be concluded that there is an immense scope and need of implementing different bioprocess optimization strategies to achieve maximum yield and productivity enhancement of CPT during large scale in vitro cultivation of fungal endophytes.