Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and potassium bicarbonate enhance the foliar content of the vinblastine alkaloid in Catharanthus roseus
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- De la Rosa-Mera, C.J., Ferrera-Cerrato, R., Alarcón, A. et al. Plant Soil (2011) 349: 367. doi:10.1007/s11104-011-0883-y
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Vinca (Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don.) is an important medicinal plant species from which antineoplastic alkaloids such as vinblastine are extracted. However, neither abiotic stress nor inoculation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) has been evaluated on the accumulation of vinca alkaloids under controlled conditions. This study evaluated the effects of AMF and/or abiotic stress induced by the application of potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) and/or sodium chloride (NaCl) on plant growth, and on total content of phenolic compounds (TCPC), total antioxidant activity (TAOX), and total content of vinblastine alkaloid in leaves of vinca. TCPC, TAOX, and vinblastine were measured via spectrophotometric methods. After 75 days under greenhouse conditions, either the AMF inoculation without abiotic stress or the application of KHCO3 (2.5 and 7.5 mM) resulted in significantly (P ≤ 0.001) enhanced plant growth, TCPC, TAOX, and total content of vinblastine. The application of NaCl significantly diminished plant growth, but did not stimulate the content of vinblastine. The combined application of NaCl and KHCO3 significantly decreased AMF-colonization in roots. The sole inoculation of AMF or the single application of 7.5 mM KHCO3 induced the accumulation of vinblastine in leaves of vinca.