Micropropagation affects not only the fruit morphology of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) but also its medicinal properties.

Goyali, J.C., Igamberdiev, A.U., and Debnath, S.C. (2015). "Micropropagation affects not only the fruit morphology of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) but also its medicinal properties.", Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 1098, pp. 137-142. doi : 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1098.14  Access to full text

Abstract

Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) is an important source of nutrients and non-nutrient phytochemicals, especially flavonoids and anthocyanins which contribute to maintenance of body functions and health throughout the adult stage of life. The potential of blueberry metabolites in reducing the incidence of cancer, ulcers, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders results in the worldwide use of blueberries as health promoting fruits. The medicinal properties of berry crops depend on different factors. The aim of this study is to select an optimal propagation method for blueberry size and fruit quality especially for phytochemical properties. A wild clone QB 9C and a released cultivar Fundy were studied after being propagated by conventional softwood cutting and by tissue culture. Fruit setting in percentage, berry diameter and weight were studied for each genotype. The contents of flavonoids and anthocyanins were measured spectrophotometrically. Antioxidant activity of fruits was assessed using reducing power of iron (III) in ferricyanide complex. Two different genotypes responded differently to the propagation methods. Softwood cutting QB 9C plants produced bigger fruits compared to those of micropropagated QB 9C plants. In vitro propagation enhanced total monomeric anthocyanin contents in QB 9C blueberry clone. QB 9C fruits contained higher amounts of natural secondary metabolites and antioxidant activity than those of Fundy. These results revealed that micropropagation promoted medicinal properties in blueberry.

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