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Photosynthetic carbon dioxide uptake during in vitro culture of Arnica Montana

Motounu, M., Popescu, G.C., Alexiu, V.
Acta horticulturae 2012 no.955
Arnica montana, biotechnology, carbon dioxide, in vitro culture, micropropagation, photosynthesis, pigments, plant breeding, plantlets, sesquiterpenoid lactones, Romania
Arnica Montana is a vulnerable species that is included in the Red List of higher plants in Romania. It is a long-lived perennial species, whose distribution is restricted to Europe. The plant's inflorescence has valuable anti-inflammatory and cicatrizing properties due to the presence of sesquiterpene lactones of the helenalin type. These lactones also have a cardiotonic and cardiotoxic action. For these reasons, Arnica Montana has been excessively collected and has now become rare in Romania. In order to restore populations of Arnica Montana in southern Carpathian, studies were undertaken to establish a biotechnology in vitro plant breeding program, which yielded a significant number of plants. The purpose of this paper was to study the process of photosynthesis in Arnica Montana in vitro culture. Photosynthetic rate were correlated with the content of assimilating pigments. The average intensity of photosynthesis in the multiplication phase was 0.472 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1. This poor photosynthetic activity of plantlets cultivated in vitro is considered one of the major limiting factors for the improvement of micropropagation efficiency in Arnica Montana.