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Botanical Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2007-4476Print version ISSN 2007-4298


CASTILLO-ARELLANO, Jorge Ivan et al. The biosynthesis of pharmacologically active compounds in Calophyllum brasiliense seedlings is influenced by calcium and potassium under hydroponic conditions. Bot. sci [online]. 2019, vol.97, n.1, pp.89-99. ISSN 2007-4476.


The influence of soil nutrients on biosynthesis of secondary metabolites from tropical trees has been poorly investigated.


Does the deprival of Ca2+ and K+ influence the production of pharmacologically active compounds in the seedling of Calophyllum brasiliense?

Species study:

Calophyllum brasiliense Cambess.

Study site:

Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico; November 2005 to November 2009.


The seedlings were obtained from seeds and subjected to different hydroponic treatments: 1) modified Hoagland solution (MHS), 2) MHS-Ca2+, and 3) MHS-K+. Growth, height, foliar biomass, and HPLC analysis were performed after 7 months.


Under hydroponic conditions Ca2+ and K+ deficiency induced the mortality of 53 % and 28 % of the seedlings, respectively. The foliar biomass, and plant height of the survivors were also drastically reduced. MHS-K+ treatment induced a 15, 4.2 and 4.3-fold decrease for calanolides B, C, and apetalic acid in the leaves, respectively. MHS-Ca2+ treatment induced a decrease of 4.3, and 2.4-fold for calanolide B, and C, respectively.


Ca2+ is essential for survival of C. brasiliense seedlings under hydroponic conditions, Ca2+ and K+ are critical for growth, foliar production, and biosynthesis of apetalic acid, and calanolide B.

Keywords : Apetalic acid; calanolides; Calophyllum brasiliense; hydroponic; soil nutrients.

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