Polygonum tinctorium Ait. is a herbaceous subtropical annual plant, belonging to the family Polygonaceae. Within the cells of its leaves P. tinctorium accumulates large amounts of a colorless glycoside, indican (indoxyl β-D-glucoside), from which the blue dye indigo is synthesized. P. tinctorium is well-known in Japan, where it had been cultivated to produce natural indigo for textile dyeing, whereas it represents a potentially interesting new crop in Europe. To better understand the effects of environmental parameters on P. tinctorium crop production and indigo yield, field experiments were carried out in central Italy under temperate climate. Three lines were tested during the 2001 and 2002 growing seasons, and plant/leaf yields as well as indican contents were evaluated. The results showed that P. tinctorium grown in temperate climate conditions can be harvested three times a year. Yields of 82 and 1201 ha-1 of fresh plant yield were obtained in 2001 and 2002, respectively. The contrasting weather conditions between the two years significantly affected biomass production, which was higher in the 2002 season, characterized by wet weather conditions. The cycle length from sowing to the last harvest was accomplished in 229-238 days when plants had accumulated 2017-2018°C. Green leaves accounted for 40-45% by weight of fresh plant tissue and contained 11-20 g kg-1 indican. The three lines did not significantly differ in the main productive parameters or in fresh leaf indican content (14.1 g kg-1 mean value). Photosynthetic active radiation influences indican leaf production according to the model y = 0.0004x + 8.566 (P < 0.01, correlation coefficient = 0.818). Indican content ranged from 12 to 25 g kg-1 of fresh leaves with PAR daily values from 10000 to 40000 mEinstein m-2 (recorded in May and at the end of July-beginning of August, respectively). The results indicate that in nonlimiting rainfall conditions a very high indican content and a potentially high indigo yield can be obtained by cultivating P. tinctorium in this pioneer geographical area.
|Titolo:||Environmental factors affecting productivity, indican content, and indigo yield in Polygonum tinctorium Ait., a subtropical crop grown under temperate conditions|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2004|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|