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Chemical Eustress Elicits Tailored Responses and Enhances the Functional Quality of Novel Food Perilla frutescens

  • Rouphael, Youssef
  • Kyriacou, Marios C.
  • Carillo, Petronia
  • Pizzolongo, Fabiana
  • Romano, Raffaele
  • Sifola, Maria Isabella
Publication Date
Jan 06, 2019
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Consumer demand for fresh and functional horticultural products is on the rise. Perilla frutescens, L. Britt (Lamiaceae) is a potential specialty/niche crop for consumption and therapeutic uses with high contents of phenolic and volatile compounds. Plant growth, mineral composition, polyphenol profile and aroma volatile components of two perilla genotypes in response to salinity (non-salt control, 10, 20 or 30 mM NaCl) applied as chemical eustressor were assessed. Salinity suppressed growth and yield of both genotypes, although the red-pigmented genotype was less sensitive than the green-pigmented one. Mild (10 mM NaCl) and moderate (20 and 30 mM NaCl) salinity suppressed foliar potassium, magnesium, nitrate and chlorophyll a concentrations of both genotypes and increased the levels of rosmarinic acid, total polyphenols and target aroma volatile components. Green perilla showed higher yield and biomass production and higher content of protein, dry matter, calcium, magnesium, perilla ketone and cis-jasmone, whereas red perilla exhibited higher content of potassium, chlorophyll a, rosmarinic acid, total polyphenols, perilla aldehyde and benzaldehyde. Our findings support that chemical eustressors such as mild to moderate salinity offer valuable means to manipulate phytochemical and aroma profiles.

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