Effect of colchicine induced tetraploidy on morphology, cytology, essential oil composition, gene expression and antioxidant activity of Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck
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Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck cultivated all over the world is a valuable source of aromatic essential oil. To develop tetraploids of C. limon, four different concentration of colchicine (0.025, 0.05, 0.1 and 0.2%; w/v) and three varied exposure time (12, 24 and 48 h) were employed. The ploidy level of diploids (2n = 2x = 18) and tetraploids (2n = 4x = 36) were determined by direct chromosome count and confirmed by flow cytometric analyses. Successful result with maximum tetraploidy frequency was observed in plantlets developed from seeds treated with 0.025% colchicine for 24 h. Morphological and stomatal characteristics indicated that tetraploids were taller with increased leaf and root length. On the other side, the leaves of tetraploids had fewer and larger stomata with a greater number of chloroplasts in guard cells in contrast with diploids. GC–GC/MS analyses showed cyclic monoterpene, limonene had increased significantly in tetraploids and was further confirmed by HPLC quantification. RT-PCR analyses revealed unaltered expression of monoterpene synthase, sesquiterpene synthase and flavone synthase and remarkable upregulation of genes such as limonene synthase, chalcone synthase and phenylalanine ammonia lyase in tetraploids. Antioxidant activity of essential oil of tetraploids was higher than diploids in all the five test systems studied. Overall, the findings of the present study prove that colchicine induced tetraploidy in C. limon could be a greater source of essential oil with improved composition and of economic significance.
KeywordsLemon Colchicine Flow cytometry Terpenes Limonene GC/MS HPLC RT-PCR
Murashige and Skoog
Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
High performance liquid chromatography
Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction
Phenylalanine ammonia lyase
The authors wish to sincerely acknowledge SIF-VIT University (Vellore), CSIF-IIISM SRM Institute of Science and Technology (Katankulathur) and SAIF ICAR-SBI (Coimbatore) for providing instrumentation facilities.
GB: collection of plant material, performance of experiments, data collection and manuscript preparation. RT: experimental outline, data interpretation. MG: experimental design development.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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