Morphology, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) plants as affected by in vitro and ex vitro propagation methods.

Goyali, J.C., Igamberdiev, A.U., and Debnath, S.C. (2013). "Morphology, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) plants as affected by in vitro and ex vitro propagation methods.", Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 93(6), pp. 1001-1008. doi : 10.4141/CJPS2012-307  Access to full text

Abstract

The lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.), a commercially important crop in eastern Canada and the United States of America, is native to North America. It is one of the richest sources of antioxidant compounds and has been reported to be a potential component in reducing the incidence of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of propagation methods on morphological characters, phenolic content and antioxidant activity. A lowbush blueberry clone, QB 9C, and a cultivar, Fundy, were studied over two growing seasons after being propagated by conventional softwood cutting (SC) and by tissue culture (TC). Significant interactions among genotypes, propagation methods and growing seasons were observed for number of flower buds, total flavonoid (TFC) and proanthocyanidin (PAC) contents and antioxidant capacity. Propagation method interacted significantly with genotypes for the number of stems per plant and total phenolic (TPC) and chlorophyll contents, and with growing season for number of flower buds, TFC and PAC. TC plants produced higher number of stems and branches compared with SC plants. TPC, TFC, PAC, chlorophyll content and antioxidant activity were found in higher levels in the leaves of QB 9C compared with those of Fundy plants. The juvenile characteristics of TC plants which are triggered by growth hormones and readily available nutrients of culture media may be responsible for differences in morphological traits and antioxidant activity.

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