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Valtcho D. Zheljazkov, Tess Astatkie, and Ekaterina Jeliazkova

The United States is a major producer of EO from peppermint ( Mentha × piperita L.) and spearmints such as ‘Native’ spearmint ( Mentha spicata L.) and ‘Scotch’ spearmint ( Mentha × gracilis Sole.; syn. M. cardiaca L.) [ Lawrence, 2006 ; Mint

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Valtcho D. Zheljazkov, Charles L. Cantrell, Tess Astatkie, and Ekaterina Jeliazkova

‘Scotch’ spearmint ( Mentha × gracilis Sole. = M. cardiaca L.) and ‘Native’ spearmint ( Mentha spicata L.) are well-known and widely grown essential oil crops in many countries, including the United States ( Bienvenu et al., 1999 ; Lawrence

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Jin-Hee Ju, Yong-Han Yoon, and Se-Young Ju

value and biodiversity. Spearmint ( Mentha spicata L.), one of the best-known mints, is an aromatic plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family. Spearmint is cultivated commercially throughout the world, and the ground fresh biomass and dried leaves of

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D.D. Treadwell, G.J. Hochmuth, R.C. Hochmuth, E.H. Simonne, S.A. Sargent, L.L. Davis, W.L. Laughlin, and A. Berry

on greenhouse production of culinary basil ( Chang et al., 2005 ; Copetta et al., 2006 ; Kopsell et al., 2005 ; Succop and Newman, 2004 ). No articles could be found on greenhouse production of spearmint. Of the published reports on basil, only

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Valtcho D. Zheljazkov, Tess Astatkie, and Ekaterina Jeliazkova

‘Native’ spearmint, Mentha spicata L., is one of the two widely grown spearmints in the United States and throughout the world ( Bienvenu et al., 1999 ; Lawrence, 2006 ; Topalov, 1989 ). The other spearmint is ‘Scotch’ spearmint, which actually

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Brent Tisserat and Amy Stuff

of a greenhouse. Materials and Methods Plant materials. Carrot seeds ( Daucus carota L. ‘Chantenay’), Dwarf Corn ( Zea mays L. cv. Gaspé Flint) seeds, and spearmint ( Mentha spicata L. PI # ‘294099’) plantlets as sterile shoot cuttings were used

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Charleson R Poovaiah, Stephen C Weller, and Matthew A Jenks

An in vitro shoot regeneration procedure was developed for native spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) using internodal explants. Shoot regeneration from internodes was evaluated on Murashige and Skoog (MS) media supplemented with individual cytokinins thidiazuron (TDZ), benzylaminopurine (BA), kinetin (KT), or zeatin (ZT) or various pair wise combinations of these. The highest regeneration was achieved by the second internode on a medium containing MS basal salts, B5 vitamins, 10% coconut water, 1.0 mg·L–1 TDZ, 2.5 mg·L–1 ZT, and solidified with 0.2% phytagel. Unlike previous protocols this medium does not need sub culturing and produces elongated shoots in 4 weeks, rather than 6 weeks. Maximum number of shoots (36 per explant after 4 weeks) was observed when internodes from 2-week-old stock plants were used as explant source. The shoots were removed and roots were initiated on medium containing MS basal salts, 0.4 mg·L–1 thiamine-HCL, 100 mg·L–1 myo-inositol, 7.5 g·L–1 agar and 0.01 mg·L–1 ∝-napthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and then plants were transferred to the greenhouse 2 weeks after root initiation, where 100% of the plantlets developed into healthy plants.

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A.L. Fenwick and S.M. Ward

Seventeen mint accessions representing the three species grown for commercial oil production in the United States were characterized using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis. The RAPD profiles readily identified the different Mentha species; calculation of genetic distance, based on the number of shared bands, indicated that M. spicata L. is more closely related to M. × gracilis than to M. × piperita. The RAPD profiles also distinguished among eight peppermint accessions of different geographical origin. However, only limited polymorphism was observed among the most widely grown peppermint and Scotch spearmint cultivars. These results indicate a potential lack of genetic diversity in mint cultivars grown for oil in the United States.

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Nan Wang and Barbara M. Reed

Roots of greenhouse-grown mint plants and in-vitro-grown shoot cultures were inoculated with Verticillium dahliae Kleb. conidial suspensions to study wilt symptom development and detection and elimination of the fungus. There were significant differences in the symptom expression between control and infected shoot cultures at all conidia concentrations for the four mints tested. Disease-symptom ratings were proportional to the V. dahliae inoculum density. Infected shoot cultures were stunted when inoculated with ≥ 103 conidia/mL. Verticillium dahliae was re-isolated from infected shoot cultures at all levels of inoculum, but not from any control cultures. Verticillium infections were easily detected by plating mint stems on potato dextrose agar. Shoot tips (0.5 to 15 mm) from infected in-vitro- and greenhouse-grown plants were isolated and screened for fungus. The most effective shoot length for fungus elimination was 3-5 mm. Shoot tips isolated from in vitro spearmint cultivars infected at 102 and 103 conidia/mL were 100% Verticillium free, but only 42% of `Black Mitcham' and 54% of `Todd's Mitcham' peppermints were free of the disease. Shoot tips from infected greenhouse plants produced Verticillium-free cultures from 79% of `Black Mitcham' and 90% of `Todd's Mitcham' plants. These results indicate the utility of testing for Verticillium and the safety of micropropagated mint shoots for certified planting stock programs.

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B.H. Alkire and J.E. Simon

An experimental steam distillation unit has been designed, built, and tested for the extraction of essential oils from peppermint and spearmint. The unit, using a 130-gal (510-liter) distillation tank, is intermediate in size between laboratory-scale extractors and commercial-sized distilleries, yet provides oil in sufficient quantity for industrial evaluation. The entire apparatus-a diesel-fuel-fired boiler, extraction vessel, condenser, and oil collector-is trailer-mounted, making it transportable to commercial farms or research stations. Percentage yields of oil per dry weight from the unit were slightly less than from laboratory hydrodistillations, but oil quality and terpene composition were similar.