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Ecotype Variability in Growth and Secondary Metabolite Profile in Moringa oleifera: Impact of Sulfur and Water Availability

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posted on 2015-03-25, 00:00 authored by Nadja Förster, Christian Ulrichs, Monika Schreiner, Nick Arndt, Reinhard Schmidt, Inga Mewis
Moringa oleifera is widely cultivated in plantations in the tropics and subtropics. Previous cultivation studies with M. oleifera focused primarily only on leaf yield. In the present study, the content of potentially health-promoting secondary metabolites (glucosinolates, phenolic acids, and flavonoids) were also investigated. Six different ecotypes were grown under similar environmental conditions to identify phenotypic differences that can be traced back to the genotype. The ecotypes TOT4880 (origin USA) and TOT7267 (origin India) were identified as having the best growth performance and highest secondary metabolite production, making them an ideal health-promoting food crop. Furthermore, optimal cultivation conditionsexemplarily on sulfur fertilization and water availabilityfor achieving high leaf and secondary metabolite yields were investigated for M. oleifera. In general, plant biomass and height decreased under water deficiency compared to normal cultivation conditions, whereas the glucosinolate content increased. The effects depended to a great extent on the ecotype.

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