Exogenous carnitine application enhances the growth of culantro (Eryngium foetidum) plants

*Article not assigned to an issue yet

, , , , ,

Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email: contact@vegetosindia.org
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-022-00438-8
First Page: 0
Last Page: 0
Views: 103

Keywords: Aromatic plant, Bioregulators, Culantro, Carnitine, Spiny coriander


Carnitine is an amino acid that is common to all living organisms and is involved in energy metabolism and stress tolerance in plants. In this context, the exogenous supply of carnitine may affect lipid metabolism, and consequently, plant growth. Eryngium foetidum L. (culantro) is a perennial herb with culinary and traditional medicinal uses owing to its chemical composition, which is rich in bioactive compounds. Considering the importance of E. foetidum and the potential of carnitine to modulate energy metabolism in plants, we investigated if exogenous application of carnitine can modulate the morphophysiological development of culantro plants. Plants (57-d-old) were leaf sprayed with water (control), 100 µM carnitine, and 10 mM carnitine. At 72 days after sowing, growth, photosynthetic pigment content, gas exchange parameters, and chlorophyll a fluorescence were measured. Plants treated with 100 µM carnitine were taller, had greater leaf area, and higher biomass accumulation and allocation to roots compared to the control. Carnitine reduced the maximum fluorescence and quantum efficiency of PSII, but did not affect gas exchange parameters. Here, 100 µM carnitine improved plant development and increased culantro yield. These results suggest that carnitine has potential as a growth regulator in culantro and other crops. This study will be fundamental to support future experiments on the practical use of carnitine as a bioregulator in plants as well as further studies on the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in this regulation.

Aromatic plant, Bioregulators, Culantro, Carnitine, Spiny coriander


AGRITEMPO Dados meteorológicos. https://www.agritempo.gov.br/agritempo/jsp/PesquisaClima/index.jsp?siglaUF=PB. Accessed 29 Jan 2022. Bananeiras

Bourdin B, Adenier H, Perrin Y (2007) Carnitine is associated with fatty acid metabolism in plants. Plant Physiol Biochem 45:926–931. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2007.09.009

Brasil (2010) Manual das hortaliças não-convencionais. MAPA/ACS, Brasília

Chandrika R, Saraswathi KJT, Mallavarapu GR (2015) Constituents of the essential oils of the leaf and root of Eryngium foetidum L. from two locations in India. J Essent Oil Bear Plants 18:349–358. https://doi.org/10.1080/0972060X.2014.960277

Charrier A, Rippa S, Yu A, Nguyen PJ, Renou JP, Perrin Y (2012) The effect of carnitine on Arabidopsis development and recovery in salt stress conditions. Planta 235:123–135. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-011-1499-4

Cruz CD (2016) Genes Software-extended and integrated with the R, MATLAB and Selegen. Acta Sci Agron 38:547–552. https://doi.org/10.4025/actasciagron.v38i3.32629

Dayanand CD, Krishnamurthy N, Ashakiran S, Shashidhar KN (2011) Carnitine: a novel health factor–an overview. Int J Pharm Biomed Res 2:79–89

Frank JA, Moroni M, Moshourab R, Sumser M, Lewin GR, Trauner D (2015) Photoswitchable fatty acids enable optical control of TRPV1. Nat Commun 6:7118. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8118

Goltsev VN, Kalaji HM, Paunov M et al (2016) Variable chlorophyll fluorescence and its use for assessing physiological condition of plant photosynthetic apparatus. Russ J Plant Physiol 63:869–893. https://doi.org/10.1134/S1021443716050058

Jacques F, Rippa S, Perrin Y (2018) Physiology of L-carnitine in plants in light of the knowledge in animals and microorganisms. Plant Sci 274:432–440. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2018.06.020

Kalaji HM, Schansker G, Ladle RJ et al (2014) Frequently asked questions about in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence: practical issues. Photosynth Res 122:121–158. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-014-0024-6

Kudo M, Kidokoro S, Yoshida T et al (2019) A gene-stacking approach to overcome the trade-off between drought stress tolerance and growth in Arabidopsis. Plant J 97:240–256. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.14110

Lelandais-Brière C, Jovanovic M, Torres GAM, Perrin Y, Lemoine R, Corre-Menguy F, Hartmann C (2007) Disruption of AtOCT1, an organic cation transporter gene, affects root development and carnitine-related responses in Arabidopsis. Plant J 51:154–164. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03131.x

Los DA, Mironov KS, Allakhverdiev SI (2013) Regulatory role of membrane fluidity in gene expression and physiological functions. Photosynth Res 116:489–509. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-013-9823-4

Masterson C, Wood C (2000) Mitochondrial oxidation of fatty acids in higher plants. J Plant Physiol 109:217–224. https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1399-3054.2000.100301.x

Masterson C, Wood C (2009) Influence of mitochondrial β-oxidation on early pea seedling development. New Phytol 181:832–842. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02717.x

Nguyen PJ, Rippa S, Rossez Y, Perrin Y (2016) Acylcarnitines participate in developmental processes associated to lipid metabolism in plants. Planta 243:1011–1022. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-016-2465-y

Oney-Birol S (2019) Exogenous L-carnitine promotes plant growth and cell division by mitigating genotoxic damage of salt stress. Sci Rep 9:17229. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-53542-2

Rippa S, Zhao Y, Merlier F, Charrier A, Perrin Y (2012) The carnitine biosynthetic pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana shares similar features with the pathway of mammals and fungi. Plant Physiol Biochem 60:109–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2012.08.001

Rojas-Silva P, Graziose R, Vesely B et al (2014) Leishmanicidal activity of a daucane sesquiterpene isolated from Eryngium foetidum. Pharm Biol 52:398–401. https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2013.837077

Santos RP, Cruz ACF, Iarema L, Kuki KN, Otoni WC (2008) Protocolo para extração de pigmentos foliares em porta-enxertos de videira micropropagados. Ceres 55:356–364

Schansker G, Tóth SZ, Holzwarth AR, Garab G (2014) Chlorophyll a fluorescence: beyond the limits of the QA model. Photosynth Res 120:43–58. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-013-9806-5

Shavandi MA, Haddadian Z, Ismail MHS (2012) Eryngium foetidum L., Coriandrum sativum and Persicaria ordorata L.: a review. J Asian Sci Res 2:410–426

Singh D (1981) The relative importance of characters affecting genetic divergence. Indian J Genet Plant Breed 41:237–245

Singh S, Singh DR, Banu S, Salim KM (2013) Determination of bioactives and antioxidant activity in Eryngium foetidum L.: a traditional culinary and medicinal herb. Proc Natl Acad Sci India Sect B Biol Sci 83:453–460. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40011-012-0141-y

Steiber A, Kerner J, Hoppel CL (2004) Carnitine: a nutritional, biosynthetic, and functional perspective. Mol Aspects Med 25:455–473. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mam.2004.06.006

Tsimilli-Michael M (2020) Special issue in honour of Prof. Reto J. Strasser–Revisiting JIP-test: an educative review on concepts, assumptions, approximations, definitions and terminology. Photosynthetica 58:275–292. https://doi.org/10.32615/ps.2019.150

Turk H, Erdal S, Dumlupinar R (2019) Exogenous carnitine application augments transport of fatty acids into mitochondria and stimulates mitochondrial respiration in maize seedlings grown under normal and cold conditions. Cryobiology 91:97–103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cryobiol.2019.10.003

Turk H, Erdal S, Dumlupinar R (2020) Carnitine-induced physio-biochemical and molecular alterations in maize seedlings in response to cold stress. Arch Agron Soil Sci 66:925–941. https://doi.org/10.1080/03650340.2019.1647336

Wellburn AR (1994) The spectral determination of chlorophylls a and b, as well as total carotenoids, using various solvents with spectrophotometers of different resolution. J Plant Physiol 144:307–313. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0176-1617(11)81192-2

Wood C, Masterson C, Thomas DR (1992) The role of carnitine in plant cell metabolism. In: Tobin AK (ed) Plant organelles, Society for Experimental Biology seminar series. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 229–263



We thank A. M. Santos and S. M. Santos for kindly donating seeds for the experiments. We also acknowledge the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazil, Research Support Foundation of the State of Paraíba/Federal University of Paraíba (FAPESQ/UFPB), and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) for the scholarships granted to students, and PROPESQ/PRPG/UFPB (Public Call n. 03 Research Productivity—Proposal code PVO13257-2020). We would like to thank Editage (www.editage.com) for English language editing.

Author Information

dos Santos Sabrina Kelly
Graduate Program in Agronomy (PPGA), Federal University of Paraíba, Areia, Brazil

de Azevedo Soares Vanessa
Department of Agriculture, Federal University of Paraíba, Bananeiras, Brazil

Dantas Estephanni Fernanda Oliveira
Department of Agriculture, Federal University of Paraíba, Bananeiras, Brazil

dos Santos Letícia Waléria Oliveira
Department of Agriculture, Federal University of Paraíba, Bananeiras, Brazil

da Silva Gomes Daniel
Graduate Program in Agronomy (PPGA), Federal University of Paraíba, Areia, Brazil

Henschel Juliane Maciel
Graduate Program in Agronomy (PPGA), Federal University of Paraíba, Areia, Brazil