Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi affect glucosinolate and mineral element composition in leaves of Moringa oleifera
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Moringa is a mycorrhizal crop cultivated in the tropics and subtropics and appreciated for its nutritive and health-promoting value. As well as improving plant mineral nutrition, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can affect plant synthesis of compounds bioactive against chronic diseases in humans. Rhizophagus intraradices and Funneliformis mosseae were used in a full factorial experiment to investigate the impact of AMF on the accumulation of glucosinolates, flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, and mineral elements in moringa leaves. Levels of glucosinolates were enhanced, flavonoids and phenolic acids were not affected, levels of carotenoids (including provitamin A) were species-specifically reduced, and mineral elements were affected differently, with only Cu and Zn being increased by the AMF. This study presents novel results on AMF effects on glucosinolates in leaves and supports conclusions that the impacts of these fungi on microelement concentrations in edible plants are species dependent. The nonspecific positive effects on glucosinolates and the species-specific negative effects on carotenoids encourage research on other AMF species to achieve general benefits on bioactive compounds in moringa.
KeywordsArbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Moringa oleifera Crop quality Health-promoting compounds Microelements
This study was supported by a doctoral grant (MC) from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal) and was partially funded by the Dahlem Center of Plant Sciences – Freie Univerität Berlin (Germany) and by the Ministries of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture of the Federal Republic of Germany, of the Land Brandenburg and of the Land Thüringen. We thank Dr Kirsten Weiß and Sibylle Nöther for the ICP-OES analyses conducted at the Common Laboratory of Analysis of the Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Humboldt Universität Berlin (Germany). The development and distribution of Moringa oleifera cv. TNAU-1 is credited to AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center (Taiwan).
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