Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 41:180 | Cite as

Phenolic compounds increase their concentration in Carica papaya leaves under drought stress

  • Jorge Luis Espadas
  • Enrique Castaño
  • María Luisa Marina
  • Luis Carlos Rodríguez
  • Merichel PlazaEmail author
Original Article


Carica papaya L. cv. Maradol is a tropical plant with high commercial value due to its consumption and high nutritional value. Recent studies have corroborated a great diversity of biological activities in extracts from different tissues of the plant that seem to be caused by the presence of phenolic compounds. In this study, the effect of drought stress on the contents of phenolic compounds and the antioxidant capacities of aqueous extracts of papaya leaves were studied. Results show drought stress in plants increased their antioxidant capacity and the content and diversity of phenolic compounds. Several phenolics were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array coupled to electrospray quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry and some of them were exclusively detected in papaya leaves under drought stress. Since this is the first report of the drought stress influence on the accumulation of phenolic compounds in leaves from papaya plants, this research opens many perspectives for obtaining a greater quantity and diversity of phenolics from vegetal tissues under abiotic stress conditions that could be exploited in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.


Carica papaya Chromatographic profile Drought stress Mass spectrometry Phenolic compounds 



The authors thank financial support from the Comunidad of Madrid (Spain) and European funding from FSE and FEDER programs (project S2018/BAA-4393, AVANSECAL-II-CM) and “SEP-CONACYT” for financial support through projects 247355, 155356 and 221208. M.P. thanks the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for her “Juan de la Cierva” (IJCI-2014-22143) research contract and the University of Alcalá for her postdoctoral contract. JLE thanks SEP-CONACYT for the grant awarded (391831) and thanks to Rocío Borges and Mirbella Cáceres for training in HPLC techniques.

Supplementary material

11738_2019_2972_MOESM1_ESM.docx (825 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 825 kb)


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unidad de Biotecnología, Centro de Investigación Científica de YucatánMéridaMexico
  2. 2.Unidad de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular de Plantas, Centro de Investigación Científica de YucatánMéridaMexico
  3. 3.Departamento de Química Analítica, Química Física e Ingeniería QuímicaUniversidad de AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  4. 4.Instituto de Investigación Química “Andrés M. del Río” (IQAR)Universidad de AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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