Colchicine Production from Colchicum and the Role of in vitro Cultures: A Review

Rida A. Shibli, Nidal Q. Daradkah, Ibrahim M. Makhadmeh, Savinaz H. Baghdadi


In vitro production of naturally-occurring medicinally-important secondary metabolites from plants using callus or cell suspension culture has become an industrially promising project. In vitro production of secondary metabolites has many advantages: i) year-round availability of plant material for the production of functional phytomolecules; ii) better avenues for processing and isolation; iii) the possibility of accentuation of chemical reactions leading to other useful secondary metabolites under in vitro conditions; and iv) elimination of potential political and geographical boundaries against crop production. (-)-Colchicine is one of the most important and well-studied natural compounds. It occurs mainly in plant species belonging to the genus Colchicum. (-)-Colchicine is still in use today as a pharmaceutical agent and as a laboratory tool. Because of the difficulties in seed germination, young corms are used in the propagation of different Colchicum species. (-)-Colchicine was produced via tissue culture from calluses and cell suspensions of different Colchicum and Gloriosa species.


Colchicine, In vitro cultures, Callus, Cell suspension

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