Brief exposure of Beta vulgaris root cultures to acidic medium resulted in release of betalain pigments while the capability for regrowth and continued pigment accumulation was retained. A 10-min exposure to pH 2 followed by return to standard growth medium (pH 5.5, 1.1 mM PO4) resulted in release of 0.59 mg pigment/g dry weight over the subsequent 24-h period. The released pigment cor responds to 36.8% of the total pigments. Further improvement in culture productivity was achieved through phosphate limitation. Specific pigment productivity increased fivefold for cultures grown in phosphate-free medium as compared to cultures grown in control medium (1.1 mM PO4). A maximum total pigment production of 25.2 mg/l was observed at an initial medium phosphate level 0.3 mM. When combined with phosphate limitation, low pH facilitated the release of 3.03 mg pigment/g dry weight, which corresponds to 50% of the total pigment. The permeabilized roots were capable of regrowth and continued pigment accumulation. A cytochemical assay for respiratory activity revealed that the basis of regrowth was lateral root initials that were unaffected during the acidic pH treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology