A Rapid and Efficient Protocol for Clonal Propagation of Phenolic-Rich Lavandula multifida

  •  Mónica Zuzarte    
  •  Augusto Dinis    
  •  Lígia Salgueiro    
  •  Jorge Canhoto    


Lavandula multifida (fernleaf lavender) grows in confined regions of Portugal. This species is known for its interesting chemical profile, rich in phenolic compounds, and significant antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an interesting plant for industrial exploitation and justifying alternative propagation methods. Therefore, the present study aims the development of an efficient protocol for large scale propagation of this species, assuring plant uniformity and aiming a sustainable industrial exploitation with preservation of natural resources.

In vitro cultures were established on Murashige and Skoog medium (MS) with different concentrations of benzyladenine (BA) and zeatin (ZEA). Best multiplication rates (6.14 shoots per explant) were achieved using MS supplemented with 1.0 mg/L ZEA and rooting occurred spontaneously on the propagation medium avoiding additional rooting steps. Moreover, plants flowered during the acclimatization phase, confirming a more rapid in vitro development and shorter breeding cycle. This is a very interesting aspect for essential oil extraction. Trichome morphology was examined by scanning electron microscopy and the secretion analyzed through histochemical tests. Trichomes of micropropagated plantlets were identical to those of field-growing plants, and essential oil production was observed at early stages of development.

The present study confirms that micropropagation under controlled conditions could be an interesting alternative for field production of L. multifida, since higher amounts of plants can be obtained in less time with guarantee of genetic stability and phytossanitary quality, very important features regarding essential oil production and commercialization.

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