Plant secondary metabolites are having the great application in human health and nutritional aspect. Plant cell and organ culture systems are feasible option for the production of secondary metabolites that are of commercial importance in pharmaceuticals, food additives, flavors, and other industrial materials. The stress, including various elicitors or signal molecules, often induces the secondary metabolite production in the plant tissue culture system. The recent developments in elicitation of plant tissue culture have opened a new avenue for the production of secondary metabolite compounds. Secondary metabolite synthesis and accumulation in cell and organ cultures can be triggered by the application of elicitors to the culture medium. Elicitors are the chemical compounds from abiotic and biotic sources that can stimulate stress responses in plants, leading to the enhanced synthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites or the induction of novel secondary metabolites. Elicitor type, dose, and treatment schedule are major factors determining the effects on the secondary metabolite production. The number of parameters, such as elicitor concentrations, duration of exposure, cell line, nutrient composition, and age or stage of the culture, is also important factors influencing the successful production of biomass and secondary metabolite accumulation. This chapter reviews the various abiotic and biotic elicitors applied to cultural system and their stimulating effects on the accumulation of secondary metabolites.
Part of the book: Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants