Authors:S. Leon-Cisneros, A. Quirola-Garcés, J. Alvarez-Santana, N. Barriga-Medina, D. Ramirez-Villacís, M. Caviedes, L. Ramirez-Cárdenas, and A. Leon-Reyes
Anthocyanins are plants metabolites that are recognized by its red/purple coloration produced in flowers, seeds and leaves. These molecules are potentially important to the industry for its antioxidant capacity, disease prevention and as a natural dye. Currently, the production of anthocyanins is carried out using in vitro culture of Vitis vinifera and its yield is increased by using elicitors or stress factors. Zea mays is relevant due to its high content of cyanidin-3-β-glucoside anthocyanin. In the present study the production of cyanidin-3-β-glucoside was evaluated with different mechanisms of elicitation using in vivo and in vitro culture of purple and white maize varieties. The highest callus induction (85%) for white maize was obtained in MS medium supplemented with 2 mg/L of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, while for purple maize (93%) was obtained in N6 medium with 2 mg/L of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, using germinated seed as explant for both varieties. Methyl jasmonate was evaluated as an elicitation tool, however no cyanidin-3-β-glucoside was found to be accumulated or produced in vitro. In contrast, using germinated seeds and radicle tissue, elicitation using phosphorus deficiency treatment produced the highest cyanidin-3-β-glucoside accumulation (0.06 mg g−1) in white maize. No elicitation and further production of anthocyanins was found when purple maize were used using this method. Therefore, in vivo elicitation in white maize is a potential method to produce a stable anthocyanin that could be optimized for future applications.