Ajmalicine Bioproduction in Catharanthus Roseus (L) G. Don Inoculated with Arbuscular Mycorrhiza and Fertilized with Nitrogen
Catharanthus roseus (L) G. Don (Madagascar periwinkle) belongs to the Apocynaceace family and is widely spread throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The plant produces several important alkaloids, such as ajmalicine and serpentine, which are used in the treatment of circulatory diseases. The potential of inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and nitrogen fertilization to enhance the production of alkaloids was investigated in periwinkle. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and N fertilizer dosages on plant growth, production of ajmalicine, and nutrient content in roots. The concentration of ajmalicine was determined by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection. The experiment was designed in randomized blocks in a 4 × 4 factorial scheme with four microbiological treatments (control – without mycorrhiza; Claroideoglomus etunicatum; Rhizophagus intraradices; mixed inoculum – Rhizophagus clarus + Gigaspora margarita), and four N fertilizer dosages (15, 30, 60, and 120 mg kg-1) with four replications. Catharanthus roseus growth was higher when plants were inoculated with mixed inoculum (R. intraradices + G. margarita) and C. etunicatum. The mixed inoculum (R. intraradices + G. margarita) and C. etunicatum, combined with N fertilization, enhanced ajmalicine yield. Catharanthus roseus inoculated with mycorrhiza showed increased P absorption and reduced N content.