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Influence of light intensity on glandular trichome density, gene expression and essential oil of menthol mint (Mentha arvensis L.)

Souza, Marco Andre A. de, Santos, Leandro A. dos, Brito, Diego M. C. de, Rocha, Joecildo F., Castro, Rosane N., Fernandes, Manlio S., Souza, Sonia R. de
The Journal of essential oil research 2016 v.28 no.2 pp. 138-145
Mentha arvensis, acetates, essential oils, gene expression, genes, humans, light intensity, lipid content, menthol, mint, oils, toxicity, trichomes
The effects of 25, 50, 75 and 100% of light intensity (137, 254, 406 and 543 μmol photons m ⁻² second ⁻¹, respectively) on aspects related to volatile synthesis in menthol mint were investigated. Fresh weight production, glandular trichome density and essential oil content showed a significant linear positive correlation with light intensity. Plants under low light intensity (25%) produced an essential oil with high levels of neomenthol, menthol and menthyl acetate. With 50 and 75% of light intensity plants showed an increase in expression of limonene synthase, limonene hydroxylase, (-)-isopiperitenol dehydrogenase, (+)-pulegone reductase and menthol dehydrogenase genes and an anticipation in oil maturity. With 25% of light intensity plants produced an essential oil with the best commercial profile. However, plants under 100% of light intensity produced more essential oil but with lower levels of menthol and higher levels of pulegone, that can be toxic for humans.