Effect of different quality of light on growth and production of secondary metabolites in adventitious root cultivation of Hypericum perforatum

Naphthodianthrone derivatives that produced in Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort) are valuable secondary metabolites for depression treatment and photodynamic therapy. However, the traditional cultivation of this plant does not meet both quantitatively and qualitatively the high demand of the pharmaceutical industry. So, the adventitious root culture along with elicitation has been introduced as an alternative for production of such valuable bioactive compounds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of darkness and red, blue and fluorescent light on growth and production of secondary metabolites in the adventitious root cultivation of H. perforatum. Our results showed that biomass production was significantly higher in the cultures grown under dark and red light, but in terms of hypericins production, red light was the best. Despite the inhibitory effect of five weeks blue light treatment on both biomass and secondary metabolite production of adventitious roots, one-week blue light treatment of four-weeks grown roots is an effective stimulator for increasing total phenolic compounds and hypericins. Interestingly, the roots were regenerated under red light and stems and leaves were formed.