Giao co lam (Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino) is used in Northeast and Southeast Asia countries for the treatment of various diseases, including hepatitis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. G. pentaphyllum saponins (gypenosides) are the major components responsible for the pharmacological activities. In this study, different concentrations of abiotic (25-200 μM methyl jasmonate-MeJA and salicylic acid-SA) or biotic elicitors (1-5 g/L yeast extract-YE and Fusarium biomass) were used as plant elicitors, in order to investigate their influences on cell growth and gypenosides accumulation in G. pentaphyllum suspension cells. Suspension cells were grown on a MS medium containing 2.0 mg/L KIN and 0.5 mg/L IBA, with initial inoculum sizes of 3 g and shaking speeds of 120 rpm for 18 days. Gypenoside and Rb1 contents were measured by colorimetric and HPLC methods. Among three elicitors, SA was suitable for gypenosides accumulation in individual treatment. The cell biomass had the same values in elicitated and control suspension cells. Gypenosides content in cells treated with 100 μM salicylic acid after 6 days of culture reached a maximum value of 79.721 mg gypenoside/g dry biomass (including 0.093 mg ginsenoside Rb1/mg dry weight), which was 2.18-folds higher than that of the natural product. The elicitation promises an efficiency strategy for the production gypenosides in Gynostemma pentaphyllum suspension cells.
Keywords: elicitation; gypenosides; methyl jasmonate; salicylic acid; suspension cells culture.