Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biology and Microbiology


The genus Echinacea, member of the Asteraceae fami1y, contains several species of warm season perennials with brightly colored heads that are disease, pest and drought tolerant in varying degrees. Their native habitat ranges from Texas to Canada. In Europe, their use as garden ornamentals has gained greater interest than in the United States. Several new cultivars and races of E. purpurea have been developed in Germany for use as ornamentals. The flower col or ranges from deep purple red through rose-pink to white. The dried rhizome and roots causes numbness and salivation when placed on the tongue. It was used by the Indians for snakebite and toothache. Echinacea's following began to increase as eclectics and doctors began prescribing root extracts to their patients for its antiseptic and analgesic properties. Later, it was denounced by the American Medical Association because controlled experiments had not been performed, but renewed interest recently has revealed that some claims of treatment for severe infections and other ailments were true of the root extract's abilities of E. pallida (angustifolia) and also isolation of several biologically active compounds, for example, various isobutylamides. A shift in research emphasis to the aerial portion of E.purpurea, a much hardier, robust and larger plant with more abundant f1owers than other Echinacein species, offered an increasing possibility of commercial development. Bame discovered that the pericarp contained Echinacein, an insecticide, and that the achene itself was free of the insecticide but contained an oil similar to sunflower oil, and hence, posed the possibility of obtaining two va1uab1e products after harvesting and extraction. In this way the compounds could be obtained without destroying the plant by digging up the roots. The purposes of this research were: (1) to check chromosome numbers; (2) to determine its in vitro development pattern through a histological study; (3) to determine the oil content of greenhouse samples; (4) to determine optimum cytokinin/auxin ratio for production of shoots on E. purpurea as suggested by using leaf explants.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plant tissue culture
Echinacea (Plants)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State