Future Prospects

A number of attempts have been made for feasible production of secondary compounds in plant cell cultures. Although there are a few successful examples achieving high producibility in cell cultures, in most cases pro-ducibility was lower than that of differentiated particular cells of intact plants. These are presumably because of the lack of our understanding of molecular mechanisms of regulation of secondary compound production. However, as in some cases the molecular mechanism of signal transduction and regulation of gene expression of secondary metabolism is being revealed, these new findings can be directly applied for metabolic engineering in cell cultures. Entire DNA sequencing of the whole genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, a model species of higher plants, is being accomplished. Thus, in the near future it will be necessary to combine the molecular biological techniques with the cell culture methods more tightly.

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