Volatile compounds of ex vitro and wild plantlets of Artemisia umbelliformis subsp. eriantha (Apennines' genepì)

P. Fasciani, G. Marcozzi, S. Reale, L. Pace
The mountain area features (steep slopes, shallow soils and low temperatures) are often unfavourable to the agricultural activities. Therefore, it is mandatory to develop strategies which are sustainable under the environmental and economic point of view. The experience gained over the last ten years has allowed us to carry out a project called “2013-2015 New Plants” addressed to the protection and the valorization of a high altitude sub-endemic species of our area, Artemisia umbelliformis subsp. eriantha, commonly named “genepì”. This project aims at producing a valid alternative to illegal harvesting of wild individuals and allowing the development of the production chain. In summer 2014, ex vitro plantlets of a selected clone of A. umbelliformis were transferred to experimental fields characterized by eight different altitudes. Volatile compound profiles of micropropagated plants were evaluated in comparison to the profiles obtained from fresh and dried leaves of wild-plants (W) using headspace-solid phase microextraction gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS). The chromatographic profiles appear to be qualitatively similar between wild plants and in vitro-produced plantlets, with amounts of the characteristic thujones at about 60% of total volatile compounds. HS-SPME-GC-MS data showed the possibility of differentiating scent blends of genetically identical plants, and even flowers and leaves from the same individual.
Fasciani, P., Marcozzi, G., Reale, S. and Pace, L. 2017. Volatile compounds of ex vitro and wild plantlets of Artemisia umbelliformis subsp. eriantha (Apennines' genepì). Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1155:565-572
conservation, high altitude plant, thujones, volatile compounds, wormwood

Acta Horticulturae