Improvement of Phytopharmaceutical and Alkaloid Production in Periwinkle Plants by Endophyte and Abiotic Elicitors
Periwinkle plant represents a major source of immensely vital terpenoid indole alkaloids and natural antioxidants which are widely used in cancer chemotherapy. A pot experiment was done to evaluate the role of two periwinkle endophytes (Streptomyces sp. and Bacillus sp.) with or without abiotic elicitors (aluminum chloride, tryptophan, and chitosan) on plant biomass, physio-biochemical attributes, phytopharmaceutical constituents, and alkaloid production. Inoculation with endophyte microbes
... ificantly increased plant growth, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and alkaloid yield. It also decreased oxidative biomarkers (hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde) and had no significant effects on flavonoids and anthocyanin. In this regard, Streptomyces sp. was more effective than Bacillus sp. Foliar spraying with chitosan significantly increased plant growth, chlorophyll, ions, antioxidant capacity, phytopharmaceutical constituents (total soluble phenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanin), and alkaloid yield, associated with a decline in oxidative biomarkers. Conversely, aluminum chloride application generally increased oxidative biomarkers, which was associated with a decreasing effect on plant growth, chlorophyll, and ions. Application of either tryptophan or chitosan with endophyte microbes increased plant growth, chlorophyll, ions, antioxidants, and alkaloid; meanwhile, it decreased oxidative biomarkers. On the contrary, aluminum chloride with endophytes evoked oxidative damage that was associated with a reduction in plant growth, chlorophyll, ions, and phytopharmaceutical constituents. The current study provides a proof-of-concept of the use of the endophyte Streptomyces sp. with chitosan for enhancing periwinkle plant biomass, phytopharmaceuticals accumulation, and alkaloid production.