Environmental influences on monoterpenes and phenolics of Mentha piperita Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3t945t76d

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  • Vegetatively propagated peppermint (Mentha piperita L., cv. Black Mitcham) was used to determine the effects of night temperatures (8°C vs 25°C) on the plant growth in terms of fresh weight and leaf area, and on metabolite contents. The plants were sampled after 14 days, 21 days and 28 days in the controlled environments. Warm-night plants grew faster than cool-night plants, seen in larger leaf area and greater fresh weight on whole plant or leaf basis. Cool night (8 ° C) favored anthocyanin synthesis and accumulation. Warm night (25 C) resulted in very low levels of anthocyanin pigment. Monoterpene content and composition were also influenced by the night temperatures. Warm-night plants produced more essential oil than cool-night plants at all three sampling dates, approximately in proportion to the additional growth. However, the cool-night plants had higher percentages of reduced forms of monoterpenes such as menthone and menthol, and lower percentages of the oxidized monoterpenes pulegone and menthofuran. Although warm-night plants showed higher total measured amounts of starch and sugars, the specific contents per unit area tended to be lower than in cool-night plants. Leaf expansion growth apparently utilized substrates that otherwise might have been used in secondary product synthesis or retained as reserves.
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