Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi can induce the production of phytochemicals in sweet basil irrespective of phosphorus nutrition
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The potential of three arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to enhance the production of antioxidants (rosmarinic and caffeic acids, RA and CA) was investigated in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). After adjusting phosphorus (P) nutrition so that P concentrations and yield were matched in AM and non-mycorrhizal (NM) plants we demonstrated that Glomus caledonium increased RA and CA production in the shoots. Glomus mosseae also increased shoot CA concentration in basil under similar conditions. Although higher P amendments to NM plants increased RA and CA concentrations, there was higher production of RA and CA in the shoots of AM plants, which was not solely due to better P nutrition. Therefore, AMF potentially represent an alternative way of promoting growth of this important medicinal herb, as natural ways of growing such crops are currently highly sought after in the herbal industry.
KeywordsOcimum basilicum Phytochemicals Rosmarinic acid Caffeic acid Plant phosphorus nutrition
The authors would like to thank Dr. Rai Kookana and Mr. Michael Karkkainen at CSIRO for letting us use their HPLC apparatus, as well as Mrs. Debra Miller for her technical assistance.
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