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Planta Med. 2010 Sep;76(13):1473-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1240938. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Piper peltatum: biomass and 4-nerolidylcatechol production.

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Federal University of Amazonas, Graduate Course in Biotechnology, Manaus, Brazil.


Piper peltatum L. is used for the treatment of inflammation, malaria, and other ailments. 4-Nerolidylcatechol (4-NC) is a valuable natural product that has important anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, and antioxidant properties. 4-NC is a component of P. peltatum and P. umbellatum extracts, which are used in cosmetics. The aim of this work was to evaluate the production of plant biomass and the production of 4-NC in roots of cultivated P. peltatum over a full life cycle. Seedlings were produced in a greenhouse and then transplanted. The weight of dry plant parts (leaves, stems, roots, and inflorescences); numbers of stems, leaves, and inflorescences; and the leaf-to-stem ratio were evaluated at intervals of 60 days after transplanting (DAT). Extracts were prepared using 1:1 ethanol-chloroform and an ultrasound bath. Roots, leaves, and inflorescences contained 4-NC according to TLC photodensitometry analysis. Quantification of 4-NC in root extracts was performed using HPLC-DAD analysis. Per-hectare production of 4-NC by roots was estimated based on quantitative HPLC analysis and biomass data. Optimal per-hectare yields of 4-NC were obtained by harvesting roots between 350 and 400 DAT. In this period, the average yield was 27 kg 4-NC per hectare. Importantly, at the time of maximal overall production of root biomass (470 DAT), there was a decrease in the production of 4-NC (23.8 kg/ha), probably due to the onset of senescence.

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