Interest in the medicinal properties of secondary metabolites of Boesenbergia rotunda (fingerroot ginger) has led to investigations into tissue culture of this plant. In this study, we profiled its primary and secondary metabolites, as well as hormones of embryogenic and non-embryogenic (dry and watery) callus and shoot base, Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry together with histological characterization. Metabolite profiling showed relatively higher levels of glutamine, arginine and lysine in embryogenic callus than in dry and watery calli, while shoot base tissue showed an intermediate level of primary metabolites. For the five secondary metabolites analyzed (ie. panduratin, pinocembrin, pinostrobin, cardamonin and alpinetin), shoot base had the highest concentrations, followed by watery, dry and embryogenic calli. Furthermore, intracellular auxin levels were found to decrease from dry to watery calli, followed by shoot base and finally embryogenic calli. Our morphological observations showed the presence of fibrils on the cell surface of embryogenic callus while diphenylboric acid 2-aminoethylester staining indicated the presence of flavonoids in both dry and embryogenic calli. Periodic acid-Schiff staining showed that shoot base and dry and embryogenic calli contained starch reserves while none were found in watery callus. This study identified several primary metabolites that could be used as markers of embryogenic cells in B. rotunda, while secondary metabolite analysis indicated that biosynthesis pathways of these important metabolites may not be active in callus and embryogenic tissue.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.