Harvesting a Healthy Future from Hairy Roots

Arkansas Biosciences Institute at Arkansas State University



In the Medina-Bolivar lab we use hairy roots as bioproduction systems to discover natural products with important applications in human health.

Hairy roots are “immortalized” plant tissue culture systems that reproduce the biosynthetic capacity of intact plants. Using a combination of molecular, cellular and biochemical approaches, our research team has developed strategies to increase the levels of selected natural products in hairy roots by more than 1,000 times when compared to the parental plant.  This patented technology allows for the sustainable production of compounds that are being tested for different bioactivities including anticancer, antiviral and anti-obesity properties. These bioassays are performed in our lab or through collaborative projects with institutions across the United States.

We have an active group of undegraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral associates and research assistants. Over the years, the Medina-Bolivar laboratory has received funding from state, federal and private sources.

To learn about Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar check his TEDx talk: