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Adventitious root culture for secondary metabolite production in medicinal plants: A Review
J Plant Biotechnol 2019;46:143-157
Published online September 30, 2019
© 2019 The Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology.

Endang Rahmat· Youngmin Kang

University of Science & Technology (UST), Campus of Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Korean Convergence Medicine major, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea
Herbal Medicine Resources Research Center, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 111 Geonjae-ro, Naju-si, Jeollanam-do, 58245, Republic of Korea
Correspondence to: e-mail:
Received June 10, 2019; Revised July 31, 2019; Accepted August 1, 2019.
cc This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Medicinal plants are high-value natural resources that have been used as precautionary drugs by many people globally. The increasing global demand for bioactive compounds from medicinal plants has led to the overexploitation of many valuable species. One widely used approach to overcome this problem is the use of adventitious root cultures as a propagation strategy. This review examines the scientific research published globally on the application of adventitious root cultures for many medicinal plants. Adventitious roots generated under aseptic environments in suitable phytohormone-augmented medium exhibit high growth rates and production of important secondary metabolites. Parameters such as medium properties and composition, growth hormone type, and elicitation strategies for in vitro grown adventitious roots of medicinal plants, are the main topics discussed in this review. We also examine current developments in bioreactor system cultivation for plant bioactive compounds using adventitious root cultures, a technology with possible commercial applications, via several studies on adventitious root culture of medicinal plants in which bioreactor systems play a role. In conclusion, the development of adventitious root cultures for medicinal plants is highly useful because of their capability for vegetative propagation and germplasm preservation.
Keywords : Adventitious root culture, bioreactor, medicinal plants, secondary metabolites

September 2019, 46 (3)
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Funding Information
  • Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine
  • Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning
  • Development of Foundational Techniques for the Domestic Production of Herbal Medicines
  • Applicational Development of Standardized Herbal Resources
  • CrossMark
  • Crossref TDM