FACTORS AFFECTING ELLAGIC ACID CONTENT IN SMALL FRUITS

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  • 1 Fruit Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705

Ellagic acid, a putative anticarcinogenic compound, was detected in plants of mayhaw (Crataegus spp.), false strawberry (Duchesnea indica), strawberry (Fragaria spp.), black currant (Ribes nigrum), thornless blackberry (Rubus subgenus Eubatus), red raspberry (Rubus subgenus Idaeobatus), and cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon). Large differences in ellagic acid contents have been found among species and cultivars and also among tissues. Ellagic acid content in plant tissues is also affected by environmental factors and shows a seasonal variation in strawberry leaves. A decrease in ellagic acid content of leaves was associated with seasonal decreases in photoperiod and temperature from September to December. Ellagic acid content in the leaves of red raspberry infected with orange rust showed more than a 3-fold increase compared to healthy leaves.

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