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Variability in morphology, phytochemicals, and antioxidants in Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) All. populations under different altitudes and habitat conditions in Western Himalaya, India

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Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) All. is one among eight species of Astavarga group of plants known for its vitality strengthening properties and used in different herbal formulations. However, systematic investigation on morphology and antioxidant phytochemicals in relation to different environmental variables like altitude and habitat conditions is poorly available. The present study reveals significant (p < 0.05) differences in structural and functional attributes among sixteen different populations of P. verticillatum in West Himalaya. Among the different populations, plants growing in moist habitat and oak forest exhibited maximum plant height, leaf number, biomass and phytochemical content (total phenolics, tannin, and flavonol). Antioxidant activity using 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) positively (p < 0.05) correlated with altitude. Presence of strong antioxidant and DNA damage prevention activity of the species validate its use as vitality strengthening and anti-aging properties. Identified suitable altitude, habitat conditions, and forest types can be utilized for reintroduction of species in to suitable agro-climatic condition. This will also help in obtaining higher quality produce and management practices for conservation of this species.

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The authors thank the Director of G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment & Sustainable Development, Almora, for the support and encouragement.


This study was partially funded by the Botanical Garden Scheme of Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), New Delhi (F.N. BSI-290/6/2013-Tech; Dated 29/09/2013).

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Correspondence to Indra D. Bhatt.

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Suyal, R., Rawat, S., Rawal, R.S. et al. Variability in morphology, phytochemicals, and antioxidants in Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) All. populations under different altitudes and habitat conditions in Western Himalaya, India. Environ Monit Assess 191, 783 (2019).

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  • Astavarga
  • Altitude
  • Habitats
  • Himalaya
  • Medicinal plant
  • Anti-mutagenic