Dr. K Satheeshkumar
Area of Interest
- Optimization of chemical and physical parameters for high biomass production of plant cell, root/ hairy-root cultures leading to extraction of high-value, low volume compounds of selected medicinal plants.
- Scale-up production of cell/ root cultures in bioreactor for product development
- Tissue culture protocol development for large-scale production of commercially important medicinal plants, Banana, ornamental plants like Anthuriums, Orchids and natural fiber yielding plants mainly screw pine (Pandanus spp.)
30 years of research experience in plant tissue culture, production of pharmaceutically important plant-derived secondary metabolites through biotechnological methods mainly by using cell, root and hairy-root cultures in shake flasks to bioreactor level. Focused especially in two molecules camptothecin and plumbagin.
Product/ Technology Developed
- Developed tissue culture protocols for a number of medicinal plants including anthuriums and orchids.
- Technology for the production of plumbagin using root cultures
- Developed protocols for producing morphovariants in Plumbago rosea L.
- Developed an ointment, LOSAMEZCE- for treating Eczema or Atopic dermatitis
- Developed methods for scale up production of camptothecin
- Developed protocol for mass production of screw pine through tissue culture
Currently working on two molecules: Camptothecin (CPT) and Plumbagin (antiaging, anti cancer):
Camptothecin – Among many plant derived compounds prescribed for cancer therapy, camptothecin (CPT) a water-insoluble cytotoxic monoterpene-derived indole alkaloid has been recognized as a very potent anticancer compound due to the inhibition of a DNA replicating enzyme, topoisomerase-I in eukaryotic system. In recent years, CPT and its derivatives are accepted as most effective anticancer drugs against colorectal and ovarian cancers. Topotecan and Irinotecan are two FDA approved CPT-derived drugs sold under the trade name ‘Hycamptin’ and ‘Camptosar’.
The availability of camptothecin is still from plant sources. Some of our native species are reported to possess CPT. Seventeen species of the genus Ophiorrhiza (Rubiaceae), reported from Kerala are selected and screened for CPT and identified potential species with high CPT content for further experiments using biotechnological methods for the extraction of the molecule.
The major findings are:
- Identified most potential species of Ophiorrhiza
- Developed tissue culture system of the selected species and found the desirable cultures with high CPT content and experiments are in progress for scaling up of the system leading to pilot scale production and technology transfer.
Plumbagin (5, Hydroxy 2-methyl 1,4 naphthoqinone), an yellow pigment endowed with wide range of pharmacological activities like anticancer, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, radiosensitizing etc. Several medicinal plants contain plumbagin including insectivorous plants.
Plumbago rosea L (Plumbaginaceae), a medicinal plant of tropical India widely cultivated for its tuberous roots for traditional preparations. Demand for its tuberous roots is very high and increasing every year at a rate of more than 10-15%. Plumbagin accumulates in the roots.
Major achievements made
- Tissue culture protocol for high frequency regeneration and mass multiplication leading to field cultivation was developed. Tissue culture plants showed better production of tuberous roots with higher level of plumbagin in short period of harvest time compared to the conventionally propagated plants.
- Technology for both adventitious and genetically transformed hairy root cultures was developed and optimized conditions for Bioreactor level cultivation.
- Successfully established hairy root cultures in Bioreactor
- Integrated R&D Centre (JNTBGRI) for the Establishment of Green Industry at Kodungallur, – an extension of Screw pine project under the Constituency Development Programme, Govt. of Kerala.
- Phytochemical screening and selection of potential accession of Ophiorrhiza mungos L. for the development of suitable in vitro cultures including multiple shoots leading to the production of camptothecin-and production of plumbagin through hairy root cultures of Plumbago rosea L.
- Regeneration of plants of Agrobacterium rhizogenes induced hairy roots and comparative field performance of conventional, tissue culture and hairy root derived plants of Plumbago rosea L.
- Conservation through embryo culture and micropropagation of two endemic palms Calamus travancoricus and C. nagabatai in Western Ghats.
- Development of an ointment for skin allergic problems (eczema) using the extract derived from the root culture of a selected medicinal plant.
- Production of secondary metabolites through in vitro cultures of selected medicinal plants (Plumbagin and Camptothecin)
- Phytochemical Screening and Selection of Potential Species of Ophiorrhiza for Tissue Culture Based Mass Multiplication Leading to Production of Camptothecin- an Anticancer Compound
- Development of tissue culture protocol for mass propagation of selected Screw pine (Pandanus spp.) plants leading to technology transfer and establishment of tissue culture facility at KIDS.
- A patent was sealed on Technology for the production of plumbagin through root cultures of Plumbago rosea. 1998. No.-183682.
- First prize for the best poster presentation “Bioproduction of plumbagin in tissue, cell and root cultures of Plumbago rosea L” in National Symposium on developments in molecular biology and genetic engineering, at TNAU, Coimbatore Dec-1993.
- First prize for a poster entitled ‘Establishment of hairy- root of Plumbago rosea L and scaling up in air-lift bioreactor” presented in the National symposium: Emerging trends in Biotechnology organized by CUSAT, Kochi, 2012 Page Nos. 14-20 by Dhanya B Pillai, Binoy Jose, Satheeshkumar K. and Krishnan P N.
A non-steroidal ointment was formulated for atopic dermatitis (Eczema). The product is well tested its anti bacterial, anti fungal, anticancer activities and also tested sensitization properties. The product is found anti bacterial against a wide spectrum gram positive and gram negative bacteria, anti fungal, anticancer and non allergic to human skin.
JNTBGRI Sub Centre at Thrissur District- Kerala
Establishment of JNTBGRI Sub Centre at Thrissur District, Kerala with the financial support of Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) is in progress. The aim of the project is to develop a R&D laboratory for commercial multiplication of banana, natural fibre yielding plants like screw pine, ornamental plants, agro forestry crops, vegetables etc. and value addition of natural fibers.
- Satheeshkumar, K and Bhavanandan K.V (1988) Micropropagation of Plumbago rosea L. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 15: 275-278
- Satheeshkumar, K and Bhavanandan K.V (1989) Regeneration of plants from leaf callus of Plumbago rosea L Ind.J. Exp.Biol. 27: 368-69
- Satheeshkumar, K and Seeni. S (2000) In vitro multiplication of Nothapodites foetida (Wight.) Sleumer. through seedling explant cultures. Ind. J. Exp. Biol. 38: 273-278
- Satheeshkumar, K and Seeni. S (2002) Production of plumbagin (5-hydroxy 2-methyl 1:4 naphthoquinone) in callus and cell suspension cultures of Plumbago indica Linn. Ind. J. Biotechnology Vol. 1 305-308
- Satheeshkumar, K and Seeni. S (2003) In vitro mass multiplication and production of roots in Plumbago rosea L. Planta Medica, 69:83-86.
- Binoy Jose and Satheeshkumar, K (2004) In vitro mass multiplication of Ophiorrhiza mungo Linn. Ind J Exp Biol. 42: 639-642.
- Binoy Jose, Satheeshkumar, K and Seeni. S (2007) Aprotocol for high frequency regeneration through nodal explant cultures and ex vitro rooting of Plumbago rosea L. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 10(2):349-355.
- Nazeem S, Asfar S Azmi, Sarmad Hanif and Satheeshkumar, K (2008) Reactive Oxygen- Dependent DNA Damage Resulting from the Oxidation of Plumbagin by a Copper-redox Cycle Mechanism. Implications for its Anticancer Properties. Austral- Asian Journal of Cancer Vol.7 No.2: 65-72.
- S. Nazeem, Asfar S. Azmi, Sarmad Hanif1, Aamir Ahmad, Ramzi M. Mohammad, S. M. Hadi1 and K. Satheeshkumar (2009) Plumbagin induces cell death through a copper-redox cycle mechanism in human cancer cells; Mutagenesis:1–6.
- Satheeshkumar K, Binoy Jose, Soniya E V and Seeni S (2009) Isolation of
morphovariants through plant regeneration in Agrobacterium rhizogenes induced hairy root cultures of Plumbago rosea L. Indian J Biotechnology Vol.8: 435-441.
- Binoy Jose and Satheeshkumar K (2010) Tuberous roots an ideal system for high frequency regeneration (in vitro) in Plumbago rosea L. Plant Tissue Cult. & Biotech. 20 (2): 203-209.
- Sibi C.V, Dintu K. P, Renjith R, Krishnaraj M. V, Roja G, and Satheeshkumar K. (2012) A New Record of Ophiorrhiza trichocarpon Blume (Rubiaceae: Ophiorrhizeae) from Western Ghats, India: Another Source Plant of Camptothecin, J. Sci. Res. 4 (2): 529-532.
- Krishnakumar G., Rameshkumar K. B., Priya Srinivas, Satheeshkumar K. and Krishnan P.N (2012) Estimation of Camptothecin and Pharmacological Evaluation of Ophiorrhiza prostrata D. Don and Ophiorrhiza mungos L. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. S 727-S731.
- Ranjith R, Sibi CV, Rajani K, Roja G, Venkatraman R, Satheeshkumar K, Sabulal B (2012) Search for Camptothecin-yielding Ophiorrhiza species from southern Western Ghats in India: A HPTLC-densitometry study. Industrial Crops and Products 43:472– 476.
- Binoy Jose, Dhanya BP, Silja PK, Krishnan PN, Satheeshkumar K ( 2014) Plumbago rosea L –A Review on Tissue Culture and Pharmacological Research. Int. J. Pharm.Sci. Rev.Res, 25:246-256.
- Silja P K, Gisha GP, Satheeshkumar K (2014) Enhanced plumbagin accumulation in embryogenic cell suspension cultures of Plumbago rosea L. following elicitation, Plant Cell Tissue & Organ Cult (DOI10.1007/s11240-014-0547-8)
- Dintu KP, Sibi CV, Ravichandran P, Satheeshkumar K (2014) Vivipary in Ophiorrhiza mungos L.–a rare phenomenon in angiosperms, Plant Biology (doi:10.1111/plb.12233).
- Satheeshkumar K., Binoy Jose, Dhanya B. P. and Krishnan P. N (2014) Prospects of Plumbago rosea L. hairy root culture in traditional preparations: a phytochemical comparison with tuberous roots 8:13-23 (doi:10.3117/plantroot.8.13 : an international Journal-Plant Root)
Papers presented in Seminars/Symposia
- Satheeshkumar, K, Seeni. S and Bhavanandan K.V (1996) Root drugs for conventional and modern medicine through micropropagation and root cultures of Plumbago rosea L. In Proc. of 8th Kerala Science Congress, Cochin pp. 527-531, STEC Govt. of Kerala
- Satheeshkumar,K Seeni. S and Bhavanandan K.V (1993) Bioproduction of
plumbagin in tissue, cell and root cultures of Plumbago rosea L (Presented at the first National Symposium on developments in molecular biology and genetic engineering, TNAU, Coimbatore Dec-1993.
- Satheeshkumar,K and Seeni. S (1994) Foliar tissue culture and mass multiplication of six Anthurium hybrids (Presented at the first National Seminar on Anthuriums, 8-9 May, Trivandrum).
- Satheeshkumar, K, Seeni. S and Bhavanandan K.V (1993) Regeneration and phytochemical potential of Plumbago rosea L Tissue cultured in vitro (Presented at the first International conference on current progress in medicinal and aromatic plants. Dec 30-Jan 1st 1995, at Calcutta).
- Satheeshkumar,K, Krishnan, P.N and Seeni. S (1995) Induction of callus and rhizogenesis in Cassava (Presented at the National Symposium on Environmental Dimensions of Palynological Sciences April 11-12 at Trivandrum.
- Dhanya B Pillai, K. Satheeshkumar & PN Krishnan (2011) Hairy Root Culture of Plumbago Rosea L.- A Comparison With Field Tuberous Roots And Up-Scaling In Air-Lift Bioreactor (Contest paper presented in Kerala Science Congress, 2011- CESS, TVM)
- Binoy Jose, Satheeshkumar K. and Krishnan PN presented poster entitled ‘Development of tissue culture protocol for selected Screw pine (Pandanus spp.)’, in International Conference on Advances in Biological Sciences, 15-17th March 2012, Page Nos. 80-81.
- Dhanya B Pillai, Binoy Jose, Satheeshkumar K. and Krishnan P N presented poster entitled ‘Selection of desirable root-clone and optimization of media strength in hairy-root culture of Plumbago rosea L. for enhanced production of plumbagin’, in International Conference on Advances in Biological Sciences, 15-17th March 2012, Page Nos. 103-104.
- Krishnakumar G, Rameshkumar K B, Satheeshkumar K.and Krishnan P N presented poster entitled ‘Isolation and identification of Camptothecin in in vitro cultures of Ophiorrhiza prostrata D.Don’, in International Conference on Advances in Biological Sciences, 15-17th March 2012, 87-88.
- Dintu K P, Binoy Jose, Ravichandran P and Satheeshkumar K. presented poster entitled ‘In vitro propagation of Ophiorrhiza mungos L. for Camptothecin production’, in International Conference on Advances in Biological Sciences, 15-17th March 2012, Page Nos. 72-73.
- Silja P K, Dhanya B Pillai, Binoy Jose and Satheeshkumar K. presented poster entitled ‘Enhanced growth and plumbagin production by optimization of inoculum density in adventitious root cultures of Plumbago rosea L.’, in International Conference on Advances in Biological Sciences, 15-17th March 2012, Page No. 122.
- Sibi C Varghese, Renjith R, Sabulal B, Ravichandran P, Roja Gopalakrishnan, and Satheeshkumar K presented poster entitled ‘In vitro mass multiplication of Ophiorrhiza pectinata Arn.: An important source of Camptothecin’, International Conference on Advances in Biological Sciences, Kannur, Page No.133.
- Dhanya B Pillai, Binoy Jose, Satheeshkumar K. and Krishnan P N presented a poster entitled ‘Establishment of hairy- root of Plumbago rosea L and scaling up in air-lift bioreactor” in the National symposium : Emerging trends in Biotecnology organized by CUSAT, Kochi, 2012 Page Nos. 14-20.
- Dintu K P, Sibi C Varghese, Deepthi S, Ravichandran P, Satheeshkumar K and Krishnan PN presented poster entitled “Estimation of Camptothecin and in vitro studies on the selected accession of Ophiorrhiza mungos L.” in the National symposium : Emerging trends in Biotecnology organized by CUSAT, Kochi, 2012 Page Nos. 21-26.
- Silja P K, Dhanya B Pillai, Satheeshkumar K and Krishnan PN presented a poster entitled ‘In vitro differentiation of roots on cell cultures and detection of plumbagin in Plumbago rosea L.’, in the National symposium : Emerging trends in Biotecnology organized by CUSAT, Kochi, 2012 Page Nos. 27-30.
- Renjith R, Sibi C V, Roja G, K Satheeshkumar, R Venkataraman, Sabulal Baby, 2013, Estimation of Camptothecin in Ophiorrhiza Species from Southern Western Ghats, International conference on emerging trends in chemical and pharmaceutical sciences.
- Renjith R, Sibi C V, K Satheeshkumar, R Venkataraman, Sabulal Baby, 2013, Isolation of a Pentacyclic triterpenoid fatty acid ester from Ophiorrhiza shenthurunii and its identification using NMR and ESI-MS and GC-MS. International conference on frontiers of mass spectrometry (ICMS 2013).
- Radhika B.J., Ravichandran P., Bejoy Mathew and Satheeshkumar K, 2013, In vitro Multiplication of Musa paradisiaca cv. nendran L. using Inflorescence in 16th All India Congress of Cytology and Genetics and National Symposium on gene, environment and health, October 22-24,2013.
- Deepthi S and Satheeshkumar. K. Optimization of different factors for the establishment of Cell suspension Cultures of Ophiorrhiza mungos L. for the production of Camptothecin (CPT),an Anticancer Drug. Souviner of 3rd International Science Congress, Coimbatore, India, 8th to 9th Dec. 2013.
- Dintu K. P, Ravichandran P and Satheeshkumar K. Rapid plant regeneration from embryogenic calli of Ophiorrhiza mungos L. Souviner of 3rd International Science Congress, Coimbatore, India, 8th to 9th Dec. 2013.
- Sibi C.Varghese, Renjith R., Ravichandran. P, Roja Gopalakrishnan and Satheeshkumar K. Influence of repeated subcultures on biomass and Camptothecin production in Ophiorrhiza trichocarpos Blume, a rare Medicinal herb Souviner of 3rd International Science Congress, Coimbatore, India, 8th to 9th Dec. 2013.
- Dhanya B Pillai, Binoy Jose, Satheeshkumar K, Krishnan P N (2015) Optimization of inoculum density in hairy root culture of Plumbago rosea L. for enhanced growth and plumbagin production towards scaling-up in bioreactor (in press: Indian Journal of Biotechnology)
- Silja PK, Dhanya B Pillai, Satheeshkumar K (2015) Plumbagin enhancement by inducing roots in cell suspension of Plumbago rosea L. (Accepted in Journal of Herbs Spices and Medicinal Plants.
Books/ Contributory Articles
- Satheeshkumar, K, and Seeni. S (1994) A book on Culture and Cultivation of Anthuriums (Malayalam) Published by TBGRI, Palode.
- Satheeshkumar, K, and Seeni. S (1994) A contributory article on Plant Tissue Culture and its Applications (Malayalam) in Kerala Kaumudi Agricultural supplement.
- Krishnan PN, Dhanya BP and Satheeshkumar K (2014) Conservation of Tuberous Medicinal Plants of Western Ghats Through Biotecnological Approach In: Bulbous Plants Biotechnology, Ramawat KG and Merillon JM (Eds), CRC Press, Taylor&Francis Group, 370-418
Dr. Binoy Jose, a researcher in plant tissue culture, bio-production of plant specific compounds and hairy root culture technology. Dr. Binoy also interested in inducing genetic variability in Plumbago rosea L. Currently he is focusing on developing tissue culture protocol in selected Screwpines (Pandanus sp)
Mr. Sibi C Varghese, a researcher in plant tissue culture working on collection and in vitro establishment of Ophiorrhiza spp. for camptothecin production. Currently focusing on establishment of suitable culture system for the production of camptothecin.
Ms. Silja P K focuses on bioproduction of plumbagin using in vitro cultures of Plumbago rosea. Experiments on optimization of different culture parameters for cell suspension and adventitious root cultures are conducted for enhanced production of plumbagin.
Mrs. Deepthi S Nair, working on in Ophiorrhiza mungos Linn. Currently she is working on cell suspension cultures of Ophiorrhiza mungos Linn. for the enhancement of Camptothecin production.
Ms. Midhu C K working on in vitro studies of Ophiorrhiza pectinata Arn. and establishment of suitable culture system for the production of camptothecin. Now she is trying for a different method for the enhanced production of camptothecin and biomass.
Ms. Hima S working on in vitro studies on Pyrenacantha volubilis Hook. Currently she is focusing on the micro propagation of Pyrenacantha volubilis and establishment of various culture systems leading to the selection of suitable cultures for camptothecin production.
Ms Geethu Gopinath is working on the production of camptothecin by scaling up of multiple shoot cultures and callus cultures of Ophiorrhiza mungos Linn.