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Enhancement of picrosides content in Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth. mediated through nutrient feeding approach under aeroponic and hydroponic system

Thakur, Kanika, Partap, Mahinder, Kumar, Dinesh, Warghat, Ashish R.
Industrial crops and products 2019 v.133 pp. 160-167
Picrorhiza kurrooa, aeroponics, biomass production, consumer demand, electrical conductivity, humidity, hydroponics, industry, leaf length, leaf width, leaves, medicinal plants, metabolites, nursery crops, pH, photons, photosynthesis, plant height, stomatal conductance, temperature
Medicinal plants cultivation under hydroponic and aeroponic conditions offers an opportunity for quality biomass production on a commercial scale as per consumer demand. This study aims to cultivate first time medicinally important herb Picrorhiza kurroa for the production of quality biomass in the system. Plants were incubated under controlled conditions such as temperature 25 ± 2 °C, photoperiod 16 h light/8 h dark, humidity 65 ± 5%, electrical conductivity 0.5–1.5 mS cm−1, pH 6.8–7.0, chiller temperature 10 °C and photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) 150 μmol m-2 s−1 respectively. The growth biomass, physiological parameters, and alterations in metabolite content were measured in in-vitro raised and nursery plants, after 12–14 weeks of cultivation under the system. The maximum growth biomass, leaf physiological parameters, and picroside I and II contents were observed in nursery treated plants cultivated under aeroponic condition; plant height (6.51 cm), leaf length (4.09 cm), leaf width (1.59 cm), stem diameter (2.72 mm), photosynthetic rate (7.55 μmol m−2s−1), stomatal conductance (0.10 mmol m−2s−1), transpiration rate (2.55 mmol m−2s−1); picroside I and II content in leaf (3.79%) and stem (1.34%). While, in hydroponic; nursery treated plants achieved the highest number of rootlets/plant (13.20), rootlets length (14.96 cm) and rootlets width (0.36 cm) respectively. The results revealed that Picrorhiza kurroa cultivation is suitable under the aeroponic system for the production of quality biomass. Therefore, aeroponic cultivation of P. kurroa can become an alternative approach to produce quality material required for the preparation of drug formulation to the industries.