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Variation in bioactive compounds and anatomical characteristics of different fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) populations as affected by self-pollination

Maryam Salami, Mehdi Rahimmalek*, Mohammad Hossein Ehtemam, Mohammad R. Sabzalian

Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality 89, 38 - 48 (2016)


The production of self pollinated plant genotypes could be critical for improving medicinal plants. Pollination in Apiaceae family can also affect secondary metabolites. In this study, 23 fennel populations were used to assess the effect of self pollination on essential oil yield, antioxidant activity (based on three model system), total phenolic (TPC) and flavonoid content (TFC). First, some plant inflorescen-ces were divided in two parts. Then a half was bagged and a second half was permitted for out crossing. The self and outcross pollinated seeds were sown in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) in three replicates. Results revealed that inbreeding led to the increase in the secretory ducts number (9.36%) as well as essential oil yield (25.61%) in all fennel populations. Essential oil yield ranged from 2.4% to 6.4% in seeds produced via out crossing, while it varied from 3.5% to 6.5% in self pollinated ones. Furthermore, self polli-nation increased TPC (21.66%), TFC (49.40%) and antioxidant ac­tivity (6.23%). Among the populations derived from self-pollinated seeds, cv. Tabriz showed the highest TFC (8.4 mg QUEg-1 DW) and antioxidant activity (IC50 = 83.1 μg/ml), whereas cv. Semirom pos­sessed the highest TPC (150 mg TAEg-1 DW). In overall, self-polli­nation can lead to the populations with higher amount of secondary metabolites.

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