Title : Phytochemical profiling and radical scavenging activity of fagopyrum esculentum moench under drought stress: A potential medicinal herb of Himalayas
Adaptation of plants to the changing environment is one of the most interesting research areas in plant biology. Environmental conditions such as drought, high salinity, high irradiance and freezing temperature influence the development of plant and synthesis of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are natural compounds and play a major role to cope up the negative effects of the stress conditions in plants. Phytochemicals have great antioxidant potential and are of immense interest in providing essential health benefits to consumers. Among all the abiotic stresses drought is the major stress that significantly influence the growth and secondary metabolites of medicinal plants. Secondary metabolites of plants are distinctive sources for flavors, food additives, pharmaceuticals, and industrially essential biochemicals. Fagopyrum esculentum Moench is a medicinal herb which is extensively used to cure different ailments such as celiac, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular, cancer, digestive disorder etc. After 15 days of transplantation F. esculentum was subjected to drought stress with various water potentials (-0.01, -0.02, -0.03, -0.04, -0.05, -0.06 and -0.07 MPa. Watering and weighing method were used to impose and maintain the drought stress. Leaves and roots of F. esculentum were analyzed after 30, 45, 60 and 75 days of growth to evaluate the response of plant under drought stress. F. esculentum increased antioxidants (ascorbic acid and tocopherol) and secondary metabolites (phenol, flavonoid and rutin) production under drought stress to limit oxidative damage. Drought stress increased the capacity of plant to scavenge DPPH and ABTS free radicals. It was interesting to note that the therapeutically active compound rutin was high in stressed plants compared to control plants.