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Lucette LaFlamme, Marie-Hélène Michaud, and Nicholas Tremblay

Cultivation of thyme for medicinal purposes should result in high dry-matter yield and sufficient active principals concentrations. In this experiment two methods of crop establishment were compared: direct sowing (final plant density: 100,000 plants/ha) and planting at two densities: D-1 (100,000 plants/ha) and D-2 (166,000 plants/ha). The use of transplants promoted growth and resulted in yields three times higher than direct sowing (3340 vs. 1002 kg dry matter/ha). There were significant differences in biomass between the two densities evaluated. Plants under D-1 weighed 33 g dry matter/plant vs. 22 g dry matter/plant for D-2. Hence, dry-matter yield per hectare was not affected by planting density. Active principals concentrations were not affected by treatments. So far, it is recommended that cultivation of thyme under Quebec's conditions be based on transplanting at moderate (100,000 plants/ha) density.

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Gretchen Hatch and Albert H. Markhart III

The concentration of active ingredient in a given dry weight of a medicinal herb is important to the consumer and producer of herbal remedies. Feverfew is a commonly used medicinal herb where the active compound has been identified. There is considerable variability in the amount of the active ingredients in different genotypes of feverfew. Important secondary plant compounds are often produced in the trichomes of leaves. The objective of this investigation is to determine if there is a correlation between the number of leaf trichomes and the level of active ingredient in several feverfew genotypes. Rooted cuttings of feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) genotypes previously characterized for parthenolide content were grown under identical conditions in an environmentally controlled greenhouse. Light and scanning electron microscopy were used to describe and quantify the number and type of trichomes on the youngest fully expanded leaf of each plant from each genotype. The relationship between trichome number and parthenolide content will be presented.

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Thomas S.C. Li and W.R. Schroeder

Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) is a multipurpose, hardy, deciduous shrub, an ideal plant for soil erosion control, land reclamation, wildlife habitat enhancement, and farmstead protection. It has high nutritional and medicinal values for humans. The majority of sea buckthorn research has been conducted in Asia and Europe. It is a promising new crop for North America, and recently it has attracted considerable attention by researchers, producers, and industry.

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Cedric A. Sims and Srinivasa R. Mentreddy

Basil (Ocimum sp.), belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae (Labiatae), is a popular herb grown for the fresh market or for its dried aromatic leaves, which are used as a spice or in potpourris. In Asian countries, basil, particularly O. tenuiflorum, is better known as a medicinal plant species used for treating ailments ranging from colds to complex diseases such as cancers and diabetes. In the United States, however, it has a limited acceptance as a fresh-market herb. There is much potential for developing basil as a medicinal plant to cater to the growing herbal medicinal products industry. A field trial was therefore conducted to determine optimum date of planting basil in Alabama. Six-week-old seedlings were transplanted from the greenhouse into field plots arranged in a split-plot design with four replications. Planting dates at monthly intervals beginning in April were the main plots and three Ocimum accessions, Ames 23154, Ames 23155, and PI 288779 were sub-plot treatments. The accessions were compared for growth, leaf area development, light interception, canopy cover, and dry matter accumulation and partitioning pattern over planting dates. Ames 23154, with greater canopy cover (98.5%) and photosynthetically active radiation interception (96.1%), also produced higher total plant biomass than other accessions. Accession PI 288779 appeared to partition greater dry matter to leaves, which are the primary source of bioactive compounds in basil. Among planting dates, second (May) date of planting appeared to be optimum for both total biomass and leaf dry matter production. Genotypic variation f or dry-matter partitioning and relationships among agronomic parameters as influenced by planting date will be discussed in this presentation.

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Lyle E. Craker and Zoë Gardner

The passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in 1994 made the use of supplements more acceptable in the U.S., increasing demand for botanicals to use in health care and maintenance. These botanicals, primarily medicinal and aromatic plants, currently represent about 25% of the dietary supplement market in the U.S. Although much of the market for botanicals traditionally has been met through collection of plants in the wild, enhanced cultivation of several species will be essential to bring standardized, quality plant materials into the marketplace.

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Gregory D. May, Hugh S. Mason, and Charles J. Arntzen

The concept of “Functional Foods” is becoming a commonly used term in discussions of human nutrition. Consumer awareness of natural food constituents and their role in cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention has done much to increase health consciousness with respect to plant products. The Plants and Human Health Program of the Boyce Thompson Institute uses molecular techniques to create transgenic plants with modified food composition; our goal is to devise strategies for production of pharmaceuticals or “nutraceuticals” in plants. Our initial focus has been genes encoding the antigenic proteins of human infectious agents such as hepatitis B and the causal agents of diarrheal disease. Areas of research include; 1) methods to increase production of foreign proteins in transgenic plants, and 2) utilization of engineered edible plant tissues for animal feeding studies. We have found that transgenic foods orally immunize test animals; these findings portend many new and exciting possibilities for plant medicinal chemistry.

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Jules Janick

The prehistoric discovery that certain plants cause harm and others have curative powers is the origin of the healing professions and its practitioners (priest, physician, and apothecary), as well as professions devoted to plants (botany and horticulture). The description of plants and their properties and virtues (termed herbals in the 16th century) became an invaluable resource for the physician and apothecary. The earliest medicobotanical treatises date to antiquity. A Sumerian tablet from about 2100 bce (before current era) contains a dozen prescriptions and proscribes plant sources. In China, the Pen T'Sao Ching, assumed to be authored by the legendary Emperor Shen Nung in 2700 bce, but probably written in the first century, contains about 100 herbal remedies. The Ebers Papyrus, a medical treatise from ancient Egypt dates to 1550 bce but contains material from 5-20 centuries earlier. In Greece, the great botanical treatise Enquiry into Plants of Theophrastus, devotes book IX to the medicinal value of herbs. The herbal De Materia Medica by Pedanios Dioscorides of Anazarba, a Roman army physician, written in the year 65, the most famous ever written, was slavishly referred to, copied, and commented on for 1500 years. The great epoch of printed herbals appeared in the 16th century of which the most notable are Das Buch zu Distillieren (1500) by Hieronymus Brunschwig; Herbarum Vivae Eicones (1530, 1532, 1536) by Otto Brunfel; Kreüter Buch (1542) by Hieronymus Bock; De Historias Stirpium (1542) of Leonhart Fuchs; New Herball (1551, 1562, 1568) by William Turner; Commentarii “on Dioscorides” (1544) by Pier Andrea Mattioli; Crôÿdeboeck (1554) by Rembert Dodoens; and the Herball (1597) by John Gerard. Botany and medicine were essentially in step until the 17th century when both arts turned scientific and, at this juncture, botanical works would essentially ignore medicinal uses while medical works were devoid of plant lore. Yet, the medicinal use of herbs continues as an alternate form of medicine and remains popular in various forms to the present day despite the questionable efficacy of many popular herbs and the reliance of many herbal recommendations on superstition and astrology. The fact that most drugs were originally plant-based has encouraged a new look at the medicinal properties of plants.

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Constance L. Falk, Hildegard van Voorthuizen, Marisa M. Wall, Kathryn M. Kleitz, Steven J. Guldan, and Charles A. Martin

Cost and return estimates are presented for selected medicinal herbs grown in a plant-spacing study at two sites in New Mexico. The selected herbs were echinacea [Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench], valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.), and yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica Nutt.). Significant returns to land and risk were observed in the crops grown at the closest plant spacing, 12 inches (30 cm). Return to land and risk after two growing seasons from echinacea was estimated for a 10-acre (4-ha) farm to be $16,093/acre ($39,750/ha) in Las Cruces and $14,612/acre ($36,092/ha) in Alcalde.

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Fredy R. Romero, David J. Hannapel, and Kathleen Delate

Poster Session 48—Plant Biotechnology 4 21 July 2005, 12:00–12:45 p.m. Poster Hall–Ballroom E/F

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Fred T. Davies Jr., Sharon A. Duray, Sein Hla Bo, and Lop Phavaphutanon

The Neem tree is of ornamental, revegetation, biomass and medicinal value. The compound azadirachtin, which is derived from Neem seeds, is commercially used for insecticidal properties. In a 2×2 factorial experiment, Neem seedlings were either colonized with the mycorrhizal fungi Glomus intraradices or noninoculated and fertilized with full strength Long Ashton Mineral Solution at 11 or 22 ppm P. Mycorrhizal and P main effects were highly significant (p-value<0.001) with all growth parameters except R:S ratio. Mycorrhizal plants had greater leaf number, leaf area, leaf dry weight, shoot and root dry weight than noncolonized seedlings. The higher P (22 ppm) level plants had superior growth compared with low P plants. Leaf area and leaf dry weight were similar in mycorrhizal/low P plants and nonmycorrhizal/high P plants. These results suggest that mycorrhizal growth enhancement has important implications for Neem trees which are found in agriculturally poor soils in hot and arid regions.