Bioprocess and bioreactor: next generation technology for production of potential plant-based antidiabetic and antioxidant molecules

Curr Med Chem. 2011;18(1):79-90. doi: 10.2174/092986711793979724.


Globally, diabetes and obesity are two of the most common metabolic diseases of the 21(st) century. Increasingly, not only adults but children and adolescents are being affected. New approaches are needed to prevent and treat these disorders and to reduce the impact of associated disease-related complications. Industrial-scale production using plant-root cultures can produce quantities and quality of inexpensive bioactive small molecules with nutraceutical and pharmaceutical properties. Using this approach, and targeting these diseases, a next generation approach to tackling this emerging global health crisis may be developed. Adventitious roots cultured in bioreactors under controlled and reproducible conditions have been shown effective for production of natural products. The liquid-phase airlift bioreactor in particular has been used successfully for culturing roots on an industrial-scale and thus may provide an economical production platform for expressing promising plant-based antidiabetic and antioxidant molecules. This review focuses on a next-generation, scalable, bioprocessing approach for adventitious and hairy root cultures that are a pesticide-free, seasonally-independent, plant-based source of three molecules that have shown promise for the therapeutic management of diabetes and obesity: corosolic acid, resveratrol and ginsenosides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Arachis / cytology
  • Arachis / metabolism
  • Bioreactors*
  • Biotechnology
  • Ginsenosides / biosynthesis
  • Ginsenosides / chemistry
  • Ginsenosides / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / metabolism*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Plant Roots / cytology
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / chemistry
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology
  • Triterpenes / chemistry
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Ginsenosides
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • Triterpenes
  • corosolic acid
  • Resveratrol