Production of essential oils and flavours in plant cell and tissue cultures. A review
The composition of the essential oil isolated from Achillea millefolium L. ssp. millefolium cell suspension cultures was analysed by GC and GC-MS. The yield of the oil obtained by hydrodistillation or a simultaneous distillation -extraction of these cultures, harvested at days 8–10 (end of exponential phase), was 0.001 % (w/w). The analysis of the volatiles showed the presence of thirteen components; monoterpenes amounted to 5%, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons attained 40%, while eugenol, demethoxyencecalin and two unidentified compounds amounted to 45% of the total oil. Several methods were tested in an attempt to increase the essential oil production by the cultures: growth on solid medium, growth in light, use of a different culture medium, elicitation with cellulase or yeast extract, and growth in a two-phase system. Of the different methods tested, the growth in B5+ medium with Miglyol 812 led to the highest essential oil yield (0.002%, w/w), and resulted in a more diverse oil composition.