Marigold (Tagetes spp.) is a source of thiophenes, which are a group of heterocyclic sulfurous compounds possessing strong biocidal activity, thus making Tagetes plants very useful as natural source of agents for controlling pathogens such as nematodes, insects, fungi and bacteria. Hairy root cultures of Tagetes erecta L. were developed using Agrobacterium rhizogenes mediated transformation. The hairy root clones showed great variations in growth pattern and total thiophene content (0.31 to 0.96 mg/gfw). Four types of thiophenes that accumulated in root cultures of Tagetes were butenenylbithiophene (BBT), hydroxybutenenylbithiophene (BBTOH), acetoxybutenenylbithiophene (BBTOAc) and α-terthienyl (α-T). Total thiophene contents in these isolated rhizoclones were found to be four fold higher than that of wild type hairy root cultures. The developed method of producing hairy cultures of T. erecta can be used for producing thiophenes at large scale.
Key words: Agrobacterium rhizogenes, marigold, rhizoclones, biocidal.
BBT, Butenenylbithiophene; BBTOH, hydroxybutenenylbithiophene; BBTOAc, acetoxybutenenylbithiophene; α-T, α-terthienyl; EPA, environmental protection agency; MeBr, methyl bromide.
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