Alizarin and purpurin from Rubia akane have been used since ancient times as a natural dye in Asia. This study established a hairy root culture of Rubia akaneNakai by infecting leaf explants with Agrobacterium rhizogenes R1000 to investigate the growth and anthraquinones (alizarin and purpurin) content. Hairy roots were cultured in MS liquid medium. With increasing time, the growth as well as the content of alizarin and purpurin were increased significantly. Maximum growth (10.4 g/L) was achieved by 20 days of culture with content of alizarin (3.9 mg/g dry wt) and purpurin (4.6 mg/g dry wt). This result demonstrates that Rubia akane hairy culture can be an efficient approach for the production of anthraquinones.
Key words: Agrobacterium rhizogenes, alizarin, anthraquinones, hairy root culture, purpurin, Rubia akane Nakai.
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