Shoot regeneration in hairy root cultures of Solanum khasianum Clarke influences root growth, solasodine production, and permeabilization of solasodine into the medium. These parameters are dependent on exogenously supplied auxin and cytokinin; the effect being both concentration- and clone-dependent. Hairy root cultures with no shoot regeneration showed high permeabilization of solasodine into the medium by the sixth week of incubation, suggesting the medium acts as a sink for the solasodine synthesized by the roots. Solasodine in the culture medium was toxic to the transformed roots and caused browning of root tips. In a separate set of experiments, the hairy root cultures showed regeneration of approximately 50–70 mm long shoots after treatment with indole-3-acetic acid and kinetin. These hairy root cultures had increased levels of solasodine production, compared to cultures without shoot regeneration. The plantlets formed in the hairy root cultures accumulated some of the solasodine, thereby reducing its permeabilization into the medium. Transport of solasodine from root to shoot reduced the toxic effect of solasodine in the root zone and extended the exponential growth phase by 8–10 d.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3