Nanoparticle elicitation: A promising strategy to modulate the production of bioactive compounds in hairy roots

Kamogelo M. Mmereke, Srividhya Venkataraman, Bertha Nametso Moiketsi, Muhammad Rehan Khan, Sayyeda Hira Hassan, Gaolathe Rantong, Kabo Masisi, Tebogo E. Kwape, Goabaone Gaobotse, Faisal Zulfiqar, Surender Kumar Sharma, Sonia Malik, Abdullah Makhzoum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hairy root culture is one of the promising biotechnological tools to obtain the stable and sustainable production of specialized metabolites from plants under controlled environment conditions. Various strategies have been adopted to enhance the accumulation of bioactive compounds in hairy roots yet their utilization at the commercial scale is restricted to only a few products. Recently, nanotechnology has been emerged as an active technique that has revolutionized the many sectors in an advantageous way. Elicitation using nanoparticles has been recognized as an effective strategy for enhancing the bioactive compounds of interest in plants. Nanoparticles elicit the activity of defense-related compounds through activation of the specific transcription factors involved in specialized metabolites production. This review discusses the recent progress in using nanoparticles to enhance specialized metabolite biosynthesis using hairy root culture system and the significant achievements in this area of research. Biotic and abiotic elicitors to improve the production of bioactive compounds in hairy roots, different types of nanoparticles as eliciting agents, their properties as dependent on shape, most widely used nanoparticles in plant hairy root systems are described in detail. Further challenges involved in application of nanoparticles, their toxicity in plant cells and risks associated to human health are also envisaged. No doubt, nanoparticle elicitation is a remarkable approach to obtain phytochemicals from hairy roots to be utilized in various sectors including food, medicines, cosmetics or agriculture but it is quite essential to understand the inter-relationships between the nanoparticles and the plant systems in terms of specifics such as type, dosage and time of exposure as well as other important parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113910
JournalFood Research International
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science


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