Composition of volatile in micropropagated and field grown aromatic plants from Tuscany Islands
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Aromatic plant species present in the natural Park of Tuscany Archipelago are used as flavoring agents and spices, as dietary supplements and in cosmetics and aromatherapy. The plants are usually collected from wild stands, inducing a depletion of the natural habitat. Therefore, micropropagation of these aromatic plants can play a role in the protection of the natural ecosystem, can guarantee a massive sustainable production and can provide standardized plant materials for diverse economical purposes. The aim of this study is to compare the volatile organic compounds produced by the wild plants with those from in vitro plantlets using headspace solid phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) followed by capillary gas-chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Typical plants of this natural area selected for this work were Calamintha nepeta L., Crithmum maritimum L., Lavandula angustifolia L., Myrtus communis L., Rosmarinus officinalis L., Salvia officinalis L. and Satureja hortensis L. Different explants were used: microcuttings with vegetative apical parts, axillary buds and internodes. Sterilization percentage, multiplication rate and shoot length, as well as root formation were measured. The volatile aromatic profiles produced from in vitro plantlets were compared with those of the wild plants, in particular for C. maritimum, R. officinalis, S. officinalis and S. hortensis. This study indicated that the micropropagation technique can represent a valid alternative to produce massive and sterile plant material characterised by the same aromatic flavour as in the wild grown plants.
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