Dissertation: Alkaloids of in vitro cultures of Rhazya stricta


In Amir Akhgari’s dissertation, a simple and efficient gene transfer method is reported for R. stricta for the first time. New analytical methods were established which enabled comprehensive investigation of the alkaloids. These data might serve as a basis for further utilization of biotechnological methods for R. stricta and its further metabolic engineering.

Rhazya stricta Decne. (Apocynaceae) is a traditional medicinal plant in the Middle East and South Asia. It produces a large number of terpenoid indole alkaloids(TIAs), some of which possess important pharmacological properties. This study focused on the establishment of biotechnological production tools of R. stricta, namely undifferentiated cell cultures, and an Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation method to obtain hairy roots expressing heterologous genes from the early TIA pathway.

As Rhazya alkaloids comprise a wide range of structures and polarities it was necessary first to develop different analytical methods to determine the alkaloid contents and changes in their profiles in transgenic cultures and after various treatments. Targeted and non-targeted analyses from cell andorgan cultures were carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry(GC-MS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Public examination on 29 May

Amir Akhgari, M.Sc. will defend the doctoral dissertation entitled "Alkaloids of in vitro cultures of Rhazya stricta" (Alkaloidit Rhazya stricta in vitro -viljelmissä) in the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, on 29 May 2015 at 12:00. The public examination will take place at the following address: Auditorium LS.2 (A109), Latokartanonkaari 7, B building.

Professor Rosa Maria Cusidó Vidal, University of Barcelona, Spain, will serve as the opponent, and Professor Heikki Vuorela as the custos.

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Tel. +358 20 722 7070
Opening hours Mon - Fri 9:00 - 11:00 and 12:00 - 15:00,
UTC +2 time zone