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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 52

Influence of Environmental Factors on Parthenolide and Abscisic Acid in Feverfew

Jorge M. Fonseca, James W. Rushing, Nihal C. Rajapakse, Ronald L. Thomas and Melissa B. Riley

pp: 556-561

Accumulation of abscisic acid (ABA) and parthenolide (PRT) in feverfew plants exposed to different light and water conditions was investigated. The effect of light was studied by harvesting plants at different times of the day and harvesting plants exposed to either dark or light environments. PRT was found to have a maximum peak at late afternoon whereas ABA had its peak during morning hours. Light withdrawal during the afternoon resulted in reduced PRT and increased ABA. Water stress response was monitored in potted plants exposed to continuous dehydration-rehydration cycles. PRT content was higher in water-stressed plants, but only after second dehydration. In contrast, ABA was higher at first soil drying and did not increase as much in subsequent cycles. ABA inhibitors such as norflurazon and sodium bisulfite also inhibited PRT accumulation in cut feverfew flowers, indicating a connection between ABA pathway and the PRT catabolic site. Our results demonstrate that higher medicinal quality of feverfew may be obtained when harvest is during hours immediately prior to dusk and when plants have been under intermittent water stress. We provide novel evidence for understanding the physiology of the PRT accumulation in feverfew.

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