Paper Title
Influence of NaCl Salt on Stevioside Production and Antioxidant Enzymes in Stevia rebaudiana Suspension culture: An Anti-Diabetic Sweetener Plant

Stevia rebaudiana is a rich source of steviosides that find application as natural sweetener and in the treatment of diabetes. In present study, influence of NaCl salt on stevioside production and three antioxidant enzymes have been investigated to uncover its role in elicitation and in evoking the cell defence mechanisms. Stevia cell suspension cultures were treated with various NaCl salt concentrations (50, 100, 200, 400, 600 mM) and its effect was analysed after 24 hr on stevioside production, cell growth and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and ascorbate peroxidase) in cells. Among the different salt concentrations, addition of 100 mM NaCl induced the maximum stevioside content in suspension culture (1.71 fold) when compared to the control. Activity of superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase increased at 100 mM and 200 mM NaCl, while that of catalase decreased in comparison to control indicating the incidence of stress conditions. These studies provide a platform for improved production of steviosides using NaCl salt as an elicitor. Keywords - NaCl, Elicitation, Suspension Culture, Stevioside, Antioxidant Enzymes.