Production of bioactive molecules from plant cell cultures

Starting date
January 1, 2001
Duration (months)
Managers or local contacts
Levi Marisa
secondary metabolites, plant cell culture, carrot, Passiflora, antimicrobic activity,

Plant cell cultures are well known as possible sources of bioactive molecules, such as secondary metabolites and enzymes. Among these the anticancer drug taxol, now produced in vitro from Taxus baccata cells, food additives, pesticides and cosmetics.
In this research we are looking for bioactive molecules from cell cultures of Daucus carota and Passiflora ssp.
In carrot we selected cell lines with high anthocyanin production. We are now optimising cell culture conditions. Anthocyanin production is monitored with HPLC and image analysis.
For Passiflora, we set up a collection of cell lines obtained from about 30 species, which are now under characterisation. Identification of bioactive molecules from this material is being performed through bioassay-guided fractionation and purification. So far two species with antimicrobic activity have been identified. Extracts will be fractionated for bio-guided identification of the active molecule(s).
Other biological assays will be set up: biological activity against other gram positive and negative bacteria; toxic and antiproliferative activity against plant cells; inhibition of retrotranscriptase activity..Moreover, in collaboration with colleagues of the medicine faculty, the activity of the extracts on cancer cells and pathogenic bacteria will be tested.


Funds: assigned and managed by the department
Syllabus: RICATENEO - Finanziamenti d'Ateneo per la Ricerca Scientifica

Project participants

Marisa Levi
Title Authors Year
In vitro culture from mature seeds of Passiflora species Guzzo, Flavia; Ceoldo, Stefania; Andreetta, F.; Levi, Marisa 2004
Strategie per l?identificazione di molecole ad attività antimicrobica in Passiflora ssp. Guzzo F., Ceoldo S., Andreetta F., Marconi A.M., Levi M 2003
Strategie per l'identificazione di molecole bioattive in estratti di Passiflora ssp. Guzzo, Flavia; Ceoldo, Stefania; Andreetta, F.; Marconi, A. M.; Levi, Marisa 2003
Caratterizzazione e miglioramento biotecnologico di colture in vitro di carota producenti antociani. Guzzo, Flavia; Ceoldo, Stefania; Baldan, G.; Giarola, M.; Marconi, A. M.; Levi, Marisa 2002
Flow cytometry and sorting of protoplasts from carrot cell cultures reveal two cell subpopulations with different morphogenetic potential. Guzzo F., Cantamessa K., Portaluppi P., Levi M. 2002
Colture di cellule vegetali per la produzione di sostanze di interesse industriale Guzzo, Flavia; Ceoldo, Stefania; Baldan, G.; Marconi, A. M.; Levi, Marisa 2001


Research facilities