In the suspension cultures of tea callus cells, C. sinensis cv. Yabukita, the effects of the culture conditions, such as culture period and light irradiation, on cell growth and catechin production were investigated. The production of flavonoids (catechins + proanthocyanidins) was promoted by inoculating the cells into the fresh medium at the culture period giving the maximum flavonoid content in the cells. The cultivation under light irradiation was repeated several times by inoculating the cells with the maximum flavonoid content. The flavonoid production was significantly increased without inhibiting the cell growth. We obtained the maximum flavonoid production, 1.5 g/dm3 medium, and the maximum content, 150 mg/(g of dry cell weight (DCW)). The latter value was larger than that in the leaves of the tea plant.
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