Somatic embryogenesis was induced from suspension cultures (derived from leaf callus) of an important medicinal plant, Plumbago rosea L. While acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) alone induced embryogenesis, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) failed to elicit a similar response. This is the first time that ASA-induced somatic embryogenesis has been reported in cultured cells. Optimal embryogenic response per culture was observed in Murashige and Skoog's medium containing a combination of ASA (8.32 μM) and IAA (5.06 μM), but 1-naphthaleneacetic acid and indole-3-butyric acid individually did not induce somatic embryogenesis. Increase in the concentration of ammonium enhanced the number of embryos formed per culture. Accumulation of plumbagin, an important naphthoquinone and a medicinal compound, was three times higher in embryogenic compared to non-embryogenic suspensions.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2