Plant and Soil

, Volume 335, Issue 1, pp 311–323

Mycorrhizal colonization impacts on phenolic content and antioxidant properties of artichoke leaves and flower heads two years after field transplant


  • Nello Ceccarelli
    • Department of Crop Plant BiologyUniversity of Pisa
  • Maurizio Curadi
    • Department of Crop Plant BiologyUniversity of Pisa
  • Luca Martelloni
    • Department of Crop Plant BiologyUniversity of Pisa
  • Cristiana Sbrana
    • Institute of Biology and Agrobiotechnology, CNRUOS Pisa
  • Piero Picciarelli
    • Department of Crop Plant BiologyUniversity of Pisa
    • Department of Crop Plant BiologyUniversity of Pisa
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-010-0417-z

Cite this article as:
Ceccarelli, N., Curadi, M., Martelloni, L. et al. Plant Soil (2010) 335: 311. doi:10.1007/s11104-010-0417-z


Greenhouse and field experiments were carried out in order to investigate the influence of mycorrhizal inoculation on total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity, expressed as antiradical power (ARP), of artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus F.) leaves and flower heads extracts. The establishment of mycorrhizal symbiosis was monitored in pot and field grown plants, and the persistence of the inoculated AMF in roots after 2 years’ growth in the field was assessed by fungal ITS sequencing. Both in the greenhouse and in the field, marked increases in TPC and ARP were detected in leaves and flower heads of artichoke plants inoculated with the AM fungal species Glomus intraradices, either alone or in mixture with Glomus mosseae. In the field, plants inoculated with Glomus mix showed flower heads ARP content increases of 52.7 and 30.0% in the first and second year, respectively, compared with uninoculated plants. After 2 years’ growth in the field ITS rDNA sequences clustering with those of G. mosseae and G. intraradices were retrieved only from inoculated plant roots. Our data show that mycorrhizal inoculation may represent an efficient and sustainable strategy to improve productivity and enhance plant biosynthesis of secondary metabolites with health promoting activities.


Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus)Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)Glomus sp.Flower headsPhenolic contentAntioxidant properties

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010