Cecropia peltata is popularly known as "guarumbo" in Mexico and is used in traditional medicine for treatment of diabetes mellitus. C. peltata plants were cultivated in a hydroponic system under controlled conditions. Gradients of light (20, 30 and 100 μmol m-2 s-1) and nitrate concentrations (13, 2 and 0. 2 mM) were applied to estimate their effect on biomass allocation and accumulation of bioactive (chlorogenic acid and isoorientin) phenolic compounds over a 28-day period. According to carbon nutrient balance (CNB) hypothesis predictions, biomass accumulation in foliage was stimulated by the highest irradiance (100 μmol m-2 s-1); similarly, at highest irradiance in combination with lowest nitrate concentration (0. 2 mM), root growth was stimulated (root-to-shoot ratio increased twofold with respect to the control). In these conditions, total phenolics (TP) and chlorogenic acid (CGA) contents were higher in aerial parts than in roots, with a 3. 8-fold increase in TP and a 7. 7-fold increase in CGA in foliage with respect to the control plants. Isoorientin was accumulated at very low levels. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content showed a strong positive correlation. Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity (PAL) in aerial parts exhibited significant changes (&twofold) by highest irradiance. C. peltata plants allocate biomass and/or phenolic compounds to compensate the oxidative damage (increase in MDA levels) due to changes in light and nitrate restriction. The results are the basis for the establishment of a system of C. peltata culture in view of the potential use of C. peltata in therapeutic preparations for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. © 2011 Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków.
Izquierdo, A. M., Torres, M. D. P. N., Sepúlveda Jiménez, G., & Sosa, F. C. (2011). Changes in biomass allocation and phenolic compounds accumulation due to the effect of light and nitrate supply in Cecropia peltata plants. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 2135-2147. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-011-0753-5