Towards the domestication of Sanguinaria canadensis L. (bloodroot)
Campbell, Selima Makeba
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In the first study, acclimated (potted for one year) and non-acclimated (potted for three months) Sanguinaria canadensis L. (bloodroot) plants in cultivation were harvested at early dormancy, late dormancy, anthesis, immature fruiting and late fruiting stages. Sanguinarine content and concentration were determined for the rhizome (distal, proximal and middle sections defined in relation to the dominant bud or shoot), roots, leaves, flowers and fruit when the organs were present. Rhizomes had the highest content and concentrations of sanguinarine and exhibited a distinct decreasing concentration gradient from the distal third to the proximal third. Sanguinarine content in non-acclimated rhizomes increased as the plant became physiologically active, but was stable during fruit maturation while content did not change in acclimated rhizomes throughout the season. Content also did not change in the roots, leaves or fruit as the fruit matured. Whole-plant dry weight and the dry weights of the leaves and fruit increased substantially during fruit maturation. In the second study, bloodroot was exposed to three light treatments (continuous high intensity, continuous shade, and high intensity for seven weeks followed by shade) and the effects on photosynthetic rates and sanguinarine concentration in the rhizome were investigated. The light treatments had no effect on maximum rates of photosynthesis and no effect on rhizome alkaloid concentration or content of each harvest date. Differences in sanguinarine concentration, content and rhizome dry weight among the three harvest dates concur with temporal patterns of alkaloid accumulation previously observed in this species. 6The effects of N-benzyladenine (BA) and increased sucrose concentrations on shoot multiplication and growth of bloodroot microplantlets, and the effects of various auxins on rooting of bloodroot microplantlets were investigated in the third study. BA and increased sucrose concentrations had no effect on shoot multiplication or growth. Rooting was observed on control medium and media containing indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and .-napthaleneacetic acid (NAA) but percentages of rooting were very low.