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Indian Journal of Horticulture
Year : 2008, Volume : 65, Issue : 2
First page : ( 220) Last page : ( 225)
Print ISSN : 0972-8538.

Influence of light intensity on gas exchange, herbage yield and andrographolide content in Andrographis paniculata (Nees.)

Saravanan R.*, Krishti Sunil, Gajbhiye N.A., Maiti S.

National Research Centre for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Boriavi PO, Anand 387 310.

*Corresponding author's. E-mail: sarav_nrc@yahoo.com

Received:  September,  2007; Revised:  December,  2007; Accepted:  January,  2008.

Abstract

The medicinal herb Andrographis paniculata containing a bitter principle andrographolide is widely used in indigenous system of medicines for treatment of various ailments in south Asian countries including India. It is found to grow as an understory in its natural habitats. With a view to understand the role of shade on herbage yield, a two-year field study was conducted on sandy loam soil. The crop was grown under 25, 50, 70 and 100% incident photosynthetic photon flux density (PFD) by providing artificial shade nets and observations on plant height, fresh and dry weight of leaf, stem and total plant along with leaf gas exchange parameters. Significant differences were observed for all growth characters between open and shaded plants. Leaf photosynthesis increased from 11.56 to 19.70 mmol m−2s−1 as PFD increased from 25 to 100% and herbage yield increased from 226.70 to 379.45 g. Andrographolide content was not consistent under different PFD levels and highly influenced by the weather parameters. Since the total herbage and andrographolide yield was the highest under open light condition, it was concluded that A. paniculata is suitable for open cultivation.

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Key words

Medicinal plant, shade, plant growth, photosynthesis, herbage, andrographolide content.

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