Biotechnological interventions and indole alkaloid production in Rauvolfia serpentina

Abhijit Dey, Debleena Roy, Vikas Moreshwar Mohture, Mimosa Ghorai, Md Habibur Rahman, Uttpal Anand, Saikat Dewanjee, Radha, Manoj Kumar, Dorairaj Arvind Prasanth, Niraj Kumar Jha, Saurabh Kumar Jha, Mahipal S. Shekhawat, Devendra Kumar Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Abstract: Rauvolfia serpentina (L). Benth. ex Kurz. (Apocynaceae), commonly known as Sarpagandha or Indian snakeroot, has long been used in the traditional treatment of snakebites, hypertension, and mental illness. The plant is known to produce an array of indole alkaloids such as reserpine, ajmaline, amalicine, etc. which show immense pharmacological and biomedical significance. However, owing to its poor seed viability, lesser germination rate and overexploitation for several decades for its commercially important bioactive constituents, the plant has become endangered in its natural habitat. The present review comprehensively encompasses the various biotechnological tools employed in this endangered Ayurvedic plant for its in vitro propagation, role of plant growth regulators and additives in direct and indirect regeneration, somatic embryogenesis and synthetic seed production, secondary metabolite production in vitro, and assessment of clonal fidelity using molecular markers and genetic transformation. In addition, elicitation and other methods of optimization of its indole-alkaloids are also described herewith. Key points: • Latest literature on in vitro propagation ofRauvolfia serpentina • Biotechnological production and optimization of indole alkaloids • Clonal fidelity and transgenic studies inR. serpentina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4867-4883
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number13-16
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Agrobacterium
  • Hairy root culture
  • Indole alkaloids
  • Micropropagation
  • Plant growth regulators
  • Rauvolfia serpentina
  • Reserpine
  • Synthetic seed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology


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