An effective procedure for producing transformed Centaurium erythraea plants from synthetic seeds is described. Explants were encapsulated in 3% sodium alginate with 3% sucrose. Encapsulated hairy roots were cultured on half-strength Murashige and Skoog (1/2 MS) or Woody Plant (WPM) agar-solidified regeneration media supplemented with 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) or without the cytokinin. The use of WPM with 0.5 mg/L of BAP gave the best shoot formation frequency (86%) and mean number of shoots (15) per root segment. Shoots rooted with 97% frequency on 1/2 MS without growth regulators. Encapsulated shoot buds were cultured on onethird- strength MS agar medium (1/3 MS) supplemented with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) (0.05 mg/L). The plantlet conversion frequency was 32%. The encapsulated hairy roots and shoot buds were stored for 4, 6 or 14 weeks at 4°C. Synthetic seeds encapsulated with 3% sodium alginate with 3% sucrose stored at 4°C remained viable for 6 weeks but their developmental parameters significantly decreased. Adding nutrient medium and growth regulator to the alginate matrix increased plantlet recovery from both non-stored and stored synthetic seeds: synthetic seeds retained their viability and ability to form plantlets even after 14 weeks of storage. Regenerated transformed plantlets of C. erythraea were acclimatized in the greenhouse.
We compared the biochemical profiles of Physalis ixocarpa hairy roots transformed with Agrobacterium rhizogenes ATCC and A4 strains with non-transformed root cultures. The studied clones of A4- and ATCC-induced hairy roots differed significantly; the latter showed greater growth potential and greater ability to produce secondary metabolites (tropane alkaloids) and to biotransform hydroquinone to arbutin. We compared glucose content, alanine and aspartate aminotransferase activity, and L-phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity. We analyzed markers of prooxidant/antioxidant homeostasis: catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, oxidase, glutathione peroxidase and transferase activity, and the levels of ascorbate, glutathione, tocopherol and lipid peroxidation. We found that transformation induced strain-specific regulation, including regulation based on redox signals, determining the rate of allocation of carbon and nitrogen resources to secondary metabolism pathways. Our results provide evidence that A. rhizogenes strain-specific modification of primary metabolites contributed to regulation of secondary metabolism and could determine the ability of P. ixocarpa hairy root clones to produce tropane alkaloids and to convert exogenously applied hydroquinone to pharmaceutically valuable arbutin. Of the studied parameters, glucose content, L-phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity and alanine aminotransferases activity may be indicators of the secondary metabolite-producing potential of different P. ixocarpa hairy root clones.