Tagetes spp. (Marigolds): In Vitro Culture and the Production of Thiophenes

  • H. Breteler
  • D. H. Ketel
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 21)

Abstract

Tagetes species were used by ancient civilizations like the Aztecs for various purposes (Neher 1968). The pigments of the flowers were used as a dye and in chicken feed, oil was extracted from the leaves and used as an ingredient of perfumes, and the roots were also assumed to have interesting properties. Field tests in the USA in the 1930s showed that larvae of a root-knot nematode entered the roots of marigolds, but usually failed to develop and neither reached the adult stage nor produced eggs (Steiner 1941). In 1953, a Dutch bulb breeder (Van de Berg-Smit 1953) reported the biological activity of common garden marigolds (Tagetes patula) against root rot in Narcissus caused by free-living nematodes. The latter finding was an incentive for a scientific analysis of the effect of Tagetes plants by the crop protection industry and the academic world. A few years after the initial report by Van de Berg-Smit (1953), Uhlenbroek and Bijloo (1958, 1959, 1960) isolated and described some active principles from Tagetes plants. These chemicals belonged to a group of heterocyclic sulphur-containing compounds, the thiophenes. The thiophene α-terthienyl, which occurs in Tagetes and related species, was first synthesized in 1941 (Steinkopf et al. 1941) and isolated from plants in 1947 (Zechmeister and Sease 1947).

Keywords

Biomass Sucrose Caffeine Alkaloid Alginate 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Breteler
  • D. H. Ketel
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Agrobiological Research (CABO)WageningenThe Netherlands

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