Enhancement of saponins and flavonols by micropropagation of Agave salmiana uri icon


  • © 2017 Elsevier B.V.Besides the use of micropropagation to generate massive production of plants, it is an excellent option to produce secondary metabolites under controlled environmental conditions in a large scale. Biological effects have been attributed to phytochemicals found in Agave spp. In previous works, Agave salmiana Otto ex Salm-Dyck plants have been successfully micropropagated but it is not known how this process and the conditions used during plant acclimation affect the phytochemical profile. A total of 7 flavonols and 5 saponins were quantified in in vitro micropropagated plants (IN) as well as in acclimated regenerated plants in open environment (EN). Flavonols were quantified by HPLC-DAD as equivalents of kaempferol or quercetin (aglycone standards). In wild-type plants (WT), only one herbacetin glycoside (HBG1) and one quercetin glycoside (QG1) were detected. HBG1 was the most abundant flavonol found in WT (14.7 mg/100 g dw), IN (16.3 mg/100 g dw) and EN (38.4 mg/100 g). Saponins were quantified by HPLC-ELSD as protodioscin equivalents (PE). Saponins identified were glycosides of chlorogenin, tigogenin and hecogenin. Tigogenin glycoside (TG) was only found in the plants that passed through the in vitro process and it was the most abundant saponin. Particularly, tigogenin glycoside (TG) was more abundant in IN (6895.2 mg PE/100 g dw) than in EN (4997.8 mg PE/100 g dw) plants. In summary, in vitro micropropagated plants had higher concentration of flavonols and saponins compared with the wild type agave plants.

Publication date

  • October 15, 2017