Finely suspended cells of Lavandula vera were obtained by cultivating the cells in the presence of 50 mM CaCl2 and entrapped homogeneously in gels formed from natural polysaccharides, agar, alginate and κ-carrageenan. The gel-entrapped cells grew well inside the gel matrices, the growth being confirmed by the increases in oxygen uptake, cell number and chlorophyll content. Blue pigments were synthesized de novo in the presence of l-cysteine by the gel-entrapped cells as well as by the free counterparts. Calcium alginate gel-entrapped cells were employed for the repeated production of the pigments for over 7 months by alternating growth and production phases. Entrapment with adequate gels stabilized markedly the viability and the pigment productivity of the plant cells.
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