Effect of nitrogen, phosphorus and flower stage of development on carotenoids and oil content of marigold (Tagetes patula L.)

Yasmin Adam Ali Aburigal


Seeds of marigold collected from local ornamental plants were grown at the farm of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Gezira, Wad Medani, Sudan, during the 4th of March, 2007. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of N, P and flower stage of development on carotenoids and oil contents of marigold (Tagetes patula L.). The study consisted of three rates of N (0, 43 and 86 kgha-1) and two P levels (0, 41 kg P2O5 ha-1). Flowers were harvested at the unopened, newly opened, mature and over mature stages. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers significantly increased plant height and number of branches of marigold. However, they did not affect flower carotenoids content. Marigold flowers contained about 5 different carotenoids including lutein, the major component and β-carotene. When compared with salad rocket which is a lutein rich plant, most of the lutein of marigold flowers was present in the esterified form in contrast to rocket leaves, in which case lutein was largely in the free form. Five carotenoids types appeared in marigold flowers 15 days after flower opening and less types were observed in younger and older flowers. The seeds of marigold contained 1.5% of fixed oil, the major fatty acid of which was linoleic acid.

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