A protocol for induction and establishment of Agrobacterium rhizogenes mediated hairy root culture of Gossypium hirsutum was developed through infection with the A4 strain and co-cultivation on hormone-free semi-solid MS medium with B5 vitamins. It resulted in the emergence of hairy roots from the leaf explants, 21 days after infection. The transformation of hairy roots was established by PCR amplification of rol B and rol C genes of the Ri plasmid. All root lines expressed gossypol, although distinct inter-clonal quantitative variations were noticed. Five independent hairy root lines were studied for their growth kinetics as well as gossypol production. The yield potentials of one of them superseded others, as well as the non-transformed, in-vitro grown control roots. The content of gossypol in hairy roots reached a level of 2.43 mg/g DW. It was 4.5 times higher than in vitro and 1.47 times higher than in vivo grown roots of G. hirsutum. Selection of high gossypol producing hairy root lines of G. hirsutum can provide an alternative source for large-scale production of gossypol.
Keywords: Agrobacterium rhizogenes, Cotton, Hairy roots, Gossypium hirsutum, Gossypol
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