A significant amount of plant species has been used as primary sources for obtaining secondary metabolites with several industrial, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. The percentage of these metabolites in plant tissue is usually less than 1% in dry weight, and these species can be affected by various environmental conditions. Factors such as seasonality, rainfall, altitude and temperature modify the levels of secondary metabolites, making it difficult to obtain and establish rigorously controlled processes. As a result, these extraction processes are generally expensive and can cause a negative environmental impact. Among alternatives to solve the aforementioned problems, the plant cell culture has been used in obtaining secondary metabolites with a high added value when these bioprocesses show financial viability. The aim of this project is to set critical operating variables associated to steps of callus and suspension (agitated flasks) cultures, using plant cells from specie Capsicum baccatum var. pendulum to produce secondary metabolites with antioxidant and photoprotective properties. In callus culture stage will be defined the basal culture medium (Murashige and Skoog, Gamborg and Knudson C), the anatomical location of the explant (stem, leaf and bud) and the concentration of the cytokine type hormone (1x10-7, 2. 58x10-6, 5.05x10-6, 7.53x10-6 and 1x10-5 M), which ensures maximum production of secondary metabolites with pharmacological properties, using multilevel factorial design as an experimental tool. In suspension culture step will be used a central composite design for optimizing the composition of the culture medium, focusing on concentrations of primary element sources and carbon, and for choosing the optimal combination of these factors, selection criteria will be the same with those used in the previous step. Finally, chemical elicitation studies will be performed in order to increase the production of metabolites with antioxidant and photoprotective properties. The results from this project can be used for establishing a bioprocess to be developed on stirred tank bioreactors, allowing the scale-up of extract production with antioxidant and photoprotective properties.
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