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Effect of distillation waste water and plant hormones on spearmint growth and composition

Zheljazkov, Valtcho D., Astatkie, Tess
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2011 v.91 no.6 pp. 1135-1141
Melissa officinalis, Mentha arvensis, Mentha spicata, Monarda citriodora, Rosmarinus officinalis, Tagetes, byproducts, crops, distillation, gibberellic acid, methyl jasmonate, oils, rivers, salicylic acid, spearmint oil, steam, streams, wastewater
BACKGROUND: Distillation waste water (DWW) is a by-product from steam distillation of essential-oil crops; and currently, it is discharged into streams and rivers. The effects of DWW from 13 essential-oil crops, extracts from two alkaloid-containing species, and three plant hormones (methyl jasmonate, MJ; gibberellic acid, GA3; and salicylic acid, SA) were evaluated on productivity, essential-oil content and composition of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) cv. ‘Native'. RESULTS: Spearmint plant height was increased by the application of GA3 and Melissa officinalis DWW but suppressed by the application of Rosmarinus officinalis and Tagetes lucida DWW. Generally, MJ, GA3 and M. officinalis and Mentha arvensis DWW increased dry yields. The concentration of L-carvone in the oil ranged from 550 g kg⁻¹ (with Monarda citriodora DWW) to 670 g kg⁻¹ (with T. lucida DWW). M. citriodora DWW reduced the concentration of L-carvone in the oil by 23% relative to the control. CONCLUSION: Results suggest that DWW from essential-oil crops may affect monoterpene synthesis in M. spicata and, hence, may have a direct effect on the essential oil composition. DWW from essential-oil crops may be used as a growth promoter and modifier of the essential oil composition of spearmint.