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Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal is an important ayurvedic medicinal plant and its primary bioactive compound, withaferin-A possess several pharmaceutical and therapeutic values ranging from immunomodulation to anti-cancer property. For commercial production of withaferin-A, field grown plant materials have generally been used but the quality and uniformity in the levels of active constituents are highly affected by genotype and environmental conditions. Plant tissue culture methods are best alternative way to enhance commercial production of withaferin-A. In this present study, we summarize our recent findings on characterization and screening of wild accessions of W. somnifera collected from Tamil Nadu state. Further, an improved Agrobacterium rhizogenes mediated hairy root culture system was developed and this system providing an efficient tool attaining better transformation efficiency and useful for commercial in vitro production of withanolides.
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