Use of mulberry (Morus alba L.) root culture to improve the production of bioactive compounds

A. Gil-Martínez, A.A. Lozano-Pérez, O. Pérez-Tornero, M. Pérez-Jiménez
Mulberry (Morus alba L.), a deciduous tree that can be found in the Mediterranean area, contains numerous bioactive compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity that can be extracted from the plant. Phenolic compounds have proved to be present in high quantities in mulberry and have interesting antioxidant properties that can be used in biomedicine. However, the discontinuous availability of leaves has fostered the development of in vitro cell cultures in order to obtain a stable source of mulberry polyphenols. In this study, three cultivars of mulberry (‘Italiana’, ‘Valenciana Temprana’, and ‘Filipina’), previously selected on the basis of their high capacity to produce phenolic compounds, have been tested in different culture media to improve their capacity of producing phenolic compounds in their roots. Thus, root tips of these three cultivars were in vitro cultured to obtain a protocol for root culture as well as for increasing the amount of phenolic compounds in their extract. Then, media consisting of Woody Plant Medium and 1 or 2 mg L‑1 of 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), or indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) were tested to grow roots of these cultivars. After culture, Total Phenolic Content (TPC) and radical scavenging activity against DPPH (RSA) were measured. ‘Valenciana Temprana’ roots became necrotic and died during the culture; ‘Italiana’ produced nodules that took all of the root; and ‘Filipina’ showed a significant grew in all of the culture media. Media with 2 mg L‑1 of NAA was the media with the highest growth and RSA, and both media with NAA induced the highest amount of TPC in ‘Filipina’ roots.
Gil-Martínez, A., Lozano-Pérez, A.A., Pérez-Tornero, O. and Pérez-Jiménez, M. (2023). Use of mulberry (Morus alba L.) root culture to improve the production of bioactive compounds. Acta Hortic. 1359, 275-280
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1359.36
IBA, IAA, in vitro culture, NAA, natural products, tissue culture

Acta Horticulturae