Special Issue "Plant Tissue Culture and Secondary Metabolites Production"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Cell Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Laura Pistelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and agro-environment, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
Interests: plant physiology and biochemistry; abiotic stress;tissue culture; hairy roots; bioactive compounds; medicinal plants; food quality; in vitro secondary metabolites production; antioxidants
Dr. Kalina Danova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Interests: medicinal and aromatic plants; plant cell tissue and organ culture; plants germplasm conservation; secondary metabolites production in vitro; plant physiology; plant biochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The journal Plants will be publishing a Special Issue on Plant tissue culture and secondary metabolites production.

Plant cell tissue and organ culture is an irreplaceable fundamental technique, supplementary to conventional plant breeding, for optimized large-scale clonal propagation, germplasm conservation, somatic embryogenesis and plantlets disease elimination. In addition to these applications, in the last few decades this technique has been intensively utilized for plants that are important from a phytochemical point of view for the biotechnological delivery of pharmacologically relevant secondary metabolites. The latter is of exceptional importance for species which are threatened in their indigenous habitats. So, the use of in vitro culture is a sustainable additive approach to traditional methods of propagation. Furthermore, in vitro culture represents a good method to develop the controlled production of valuable natural metabolites in controlled laboratory conditions without affecting plants’ natural habitats.

This Special Issue aims to conjugate the various aspects of plant cell tissue and organ culture with a special emphasis on the production of phytochemical compounds, valuable for their therapeutic properties such as antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Secondary metabolites play a key role in the diverse defense mechanisms of the plant organism in response to environmental stimuli such as climatic fluctuations, pathogenic organisms, predatory herbivores, as well as competing plants. Therefore, by providing the opportunity for controlled modification of environmental conditions, in vitro culture is an easy-to-manage experimental system, able to be utilized as a source of secondary metabolites delivery for industrial application, as well as for food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical purposes.

This Special Issue will highlight the modern use of different plant cell tissue and organ culture approaches for the successful production of plant secondary metabolites, and especially such with high economic added value.

Dr. Laura Pistelli
Dr. Kalina Danova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • clonal propagation
  • adventitious regeneration/somatic embryogenesis
  • disease-free plant production
  • production of phytochemicals by in vitro cultures
  • bioactive compounds
  • virus-free plants
  • cell suspension culture
  • hairy root culture
  • biopesticides
  • bioreactor

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Application of Plant Growth Regulators Modulates the Profile of Chlorogenic Acids in Cultured Bidens pilosa Cells
Plants 2021, 10(3), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10030437 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 308
Plant cell culture offers an alternative to whole plants for the production of biologically important specialised metabolites. In cultured plant cells, manipulation by auxin and cytokinin plant growth regulators (PGRs) may lead to in vitro organogenesis and metabolome changes. In this study, six [...] Read more.
Plant cell culture offers an alternative to whole plants for the production of biologically important specialised metabolites. In cultured plant cells, manipulation by auxin and cytokinin plant growth regulators (PGRs) may lead to in vitro organogenesis and metabolome changes. In this study, six different combination ratios of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and benzylaminopurine (BAP) were investigated with the aim to induce indirect organogenesis from Bidens pilosa callus and to investigate the associated induced changes in the metabolomes of these calli. Phenotypic appearance of the calli and total phenolic contents of hydromethanolic extracts indicated underlying biochemical differences that were investigated using untargeted metabolomics, based on ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC–qTOF–MS), combined with multivariate data analysis. The concentration and combination ratios of PGRs were shown to induce differential metabolic responses and, thus, distinct metabolomic profiles, dominated by chlorogenic acids consisting of caffeoyl- and feruloyl-derivatives of quinic acid. Although organogenesis was not achieved, the results demonstrate that exogenous application PGRs can be used to manipulate the metabolome of B. pilosa for in vitro production of specialised metabolites with purported pharmacological properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Tissue Culture and Secondary Metabolites Production)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Enhanced in Vitro Production of Secondary Metabolites in Shoot Cultures of Gentianella lutescens J. Holub. by Elicitation
Authors: Dijana Krstić-Milosević*; Nevena Banjac; Dragan Vinterhalter; Branka Vinterhalter
Affiliation: Department of Plant Physiology, Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković ” National Institute of Republic of Serbia, University of Belgrade, Bulevar despota Stefana 142, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Abstract: This study demonstrated, for the first time, establishment of shoot cultures of rare medicinal plant Gentianella lutescens and compared the chemical profiles of plants collected from nature and those cultured in vitro. Shoot cultures were established from epicotyl explants cultured on MS basal medium with 0.2 mg/l 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP). Five shoot lines were obtained from individual seeds and no significant variations in multiplication rate, elongation and secondary metabolites profile were found among them. HPLC analysis of methanol extracts obtained from in vitro shoots and wild growing plants revealed the presence of secoiridoid gentiopicrin and xanthones – mangiferin, bellidifolin, demethylbellidifolin, demethylbellidifolin-8-O-glucoside and bellidifolin-8-O-glucoside. Although a reduced content of secondary metabolites was detected in shoots cultured in vitro compared to wild growing plants, the obtained results facilitate successful conservation of G. lutescens and pave the way for its effective mass propagation. The effects of BAP, sucrose and abiotic elicitors (salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and methyl jasmonate) on the growth parameters and secondary metabolite production in shoots were also studied. The addition of sucrose and elicitors stimulated xanthone accumulation in shoot cultures, in which the content of the main xanthones was 2-3-fold higher than in controls. Rooting of shoots was very difficult because auxin-induced roots (IBA, NAA, IAA) were poorly elongated. The highest rooting rate (33.3%) was reached in shoots treated for 2 days with 5 mg/l indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) followed by cultivation in PGR-free ½ MS liquid medium for 60 days. Survey of literature revealed a general lack of biotechnological studies on Gentianella species, thus making this research an important contribution to the study of endangered yet unexplored Gentianella species.

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