Enhanced release of tanshinones and phenolics by nonionic surfactants from Salvia miltiorrhiza hairy roots

Ka Chai Siu, Jianyong Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The development of effective measures for induction and stimulation of the secretion of intracellular products is an important strategy for improving the productivity and processing efficiency of plant tissue and cell cultures. In this study, several nonionic surfactants were applied as membrane permeabilization agents to the Salvia miltiorrhiza hairy root culture to stimulate the release of intracellular secondary metabolites. Tween 20 and Triton X-100 were most effective to stimulate the secretion of tanshinones and phenolics. With 1% Tween 20 w/v, the total phenolic content (water soluble) released to the medium was increased from below 10% to over 50% and the total tanshinone increased from below 3% to over 70% of the total amount in culture. Some of the surfactants also promoted the production yields of tanshinones and phenolics. The hairy root growth (dry weight) was slightly increased by some of these surfactants. The addition of suitable surfactants to the S. miltiorrhiza hairy root culture has shown to effectively stimulate the release of useful metabolites from the hairy roots to facilitate their recovery from the culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-690
Number of pages6
JournalEngineering in Life Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Hairy root culture
  • Nonionic surfactants
  • Permeabilization
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza
  • Tanshinones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering

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