Chemical and morphological diversity in wild populations of mentha longifolia in Israel

Daniel Segev, Nadav Nitzan, David Chaimovitsh, Amram Eshel, Nativ Dudai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Populations of Mentha longifolia, an endangered species in Israel, were tested for essential oil composition and conservational ability. In 2002-2003, 25 wild populations country-wide were tested, indicating population divergence into two chemotypes. Chemotype A was characterized by high levels of menthone and pulegone, and chemotype B by high levels of piperitenone oxide and piperitone oxide. Chemotype A was more abundant (22 of 25 populations) than chemotype B (11 of 25 populations). However, a chemotype/population interaction was not recorded (P > 0.05). In spring 2003, seven of the 25 wild populations were resampled, propagated, and cultivated at the Newe Ya'ar campus. Then, in 2004, the propagated plants were tested for essential oil composition. The propagated plants maintained the essential oil composition as well as the chemotype-frequency distribution of the original wild population from which they were obtained. Since a chemotype/population interaction was not recorded, and the cultivated plants displayed the wild population essential oil composition, it can be concluded that i) the chemotype diversity is genetically based, and ii) the M. longifolia populations sampled can be horticulturally conserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-588
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry and Biodiversity
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • Chemotype diversity
  • Essential oils
  • Mentha longifolia

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