Production of glucosinolates, phenolic compounds and associated gene expression profiles of hairy root cultures in turnip (Brassica rapa ssp. rapa)

3 Biotech. 2016 Dec;6(2):175. doi: 10.1007/s13205-016-0492-9. Epub 2016 Aug 20.


Turnip (Brassica rapa ssp. rapa) is an important vegetable crop producing glucosinolates (GSLs) and phenolic compounds. The GSLs, phenolic compound contents and transcript levels in hairy root cultures, as well as their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer activity were studied in turnip. Transgenic hairy root lines were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse transcription-PCR. GSLs levels (glucoallysin, glucobrassicanapin, gluconasturtiin, glucobrassicin, 4-methoxyglucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin and 4-hydroxyglucobrassicin) and their gene expression levels (BrMYB28, BrMYB29, BrMYB34, BrMYB51, BrMYB122, CYP79 and CYP83) significantly increased in hairy roots compared with that in non-transformed roots. Furthermore, hairy roots efficiently produced several important individual phenolic compounds (flavonols, hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acids). Colorimetric analysis revealed that the highest levels of total phenol, flavonoid contents, and their gene expression levels (PAL, CHI and FLS) in hairy roots than non-transformed roots. Our study provides beneficial information on the molecular and physiological active processes that are associated with the phytochemical content and biosynthetic gene expression in turnip. Moreover, antioxidant activity, as measured by DPPH scavenging activity, reducing potential, phosphomolybdenum and ferrous ion chelating ability assays was significantly higher in hairy roots. Hairy root extracts exhibited higher antimicrobial activity against bacterial and fungal species. The extract of hairy roots showed inhibition of human breast and colon cancer cell lines.

Keywords: Anticancer activity; Antimicrobial activity; Biosynthetic gene expression; Glucosinolates; Hairy roots; Phenolic compounds.