Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.11, 4811-4835, 2020
Biotechnological advancements in Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don
Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don, also known as Madagascar periwinkle or Sadabahar, is a herbaceous plant belonging to the family Apocynaceae. Being a reservoir for more than 200 alkaloids, it reserves a place for itself in the list of important medicinal plants. Secondary metabolites are present in its leaves (e.g., vindoline, vinblastine, catharanthine, and vincristine) as well as basal stem and roots (e.g., ajmalicine, reserpine, serpentine, horhammericine, tabersonine, leurosine, catharanthine, lochnerine, and vindoline). Two of its alkaloids, vincristine and vinblastine (possessing anticancerous properties), are being used copiously in pharmaceutical industries. Till date, arrays of reports are available on in vitro biotechnological improvements of C. roseus. The present review article concentrates chiefly on various biotechnological advancements based on plant tissue culture techniques of the last three decades, for instance, regeneration via direct and indirect organogenesis, somatic embryogenesis, secondary metabolite production, synthetic seed production, clonal fidelity assessment, polyploidization, genetic transformation, and nanotechnology. It also portrays the importance of various factors influencing the success of in vitro biotechnological interventions in Catharanthus and further addresses several shortcomings that can be further explored to create a platform for upcoming innovative approaches.