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Enhanced Accumulation of Vitamins, Nutraceuticals and Minerals in Lettuces Associated with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF): A Question of Interest for Both Vegetables and Humans

Author

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  • Marouane Baslam

    () (Department of Environmental Biology, School of Sciences, University of Navarra, Irunlarrea, 1, 31008- Pamplona, Spain)

  • Idoia Garmendia

    () (Environment and Earth Sciences Department, University of Alicante, P.O. Box 99, E-03030 Alicante, Spain)

  • Nieves Goicoechea

    () (Department of Environmental Biology, School of Sciences, University of Navarra, Irunlarrea, 1, 31008- Pamplona, Spain)

Abstract

Lettuce ( Lactuca sativa L.) is extensively grown and is the most widely used food crop for the called “Fourth Range” of vegetables. Lettuce exhibits healthy properties mainly due to the presence of antioxidant compounds (vitamins C and E, carotenoids, polyphenols) alongside significant fibre content and useful amounts of certain minerals. Lettuce can establish a mutualistic association with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). The establishment of the symbiosis involves a continuous cellular and molecular dialogue between both symbionts, which includes the activation of antioxidant, phenylpropanoid or carotenoid metabolic pathways. The presence of AMF colonizing roots of greenhouse-grown lettuces can induce an accumulation of secondary metabolites, vitamins and minerals in leaves that overcome the dilution effect due to the increased size of mycorrhizal plants. Therefore, AMF would allow the intake of minerals and compounds with antioxidant properties to be enhanced without increasing the consumption of lettuce in the diet. In addition, increased quantities of secondary metabolites may help lettuce plants to withstand biotic and abiotic stresses. Our review discusses the influence exerted by several environmental factors and agronomic practices on the ability of AMF for enhancing the levels of vitamins, nutraceuticals and minerals in leaves of green and red-leaf types of lettuces.

Suggested Citation

  • Marouane Baslam & Idoia Garmendia & Nieves Goicoechea, 2013. "Enhanced Accumulation of Vitamins, Nutraceuticals and Minerals in Lettuces Associated with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF): A Question of Interest for Both Vegetables and Humans," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(1), pages 1-22, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:1:p:188-209:d:24437
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. anonymous, 1990. "Agriculture: bank lending," Cross Sections, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue fall, pages 1-15.
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    Keywords

    arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; ascorbate; carbon dioxide; carotenoids; drought; Lactuca sativa ; minerals; phenolics; seasonality; tocopherol;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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