Pisum Genetics
2010-Volume 42
Research Papers
Contributions to the characterization of Vavilovia formosa (syn. Pisum formosum). III. Contents of macro- and microelements
Zeremski-Skoric, T.1, Mikic, A.1, Sarukhanyan, N.2, Vanyan, A.2, Akopian, J.3, Gabrielyan, I.3, Smykal, P.4, Kenicer, G.5, Vishnyakova, M.6 and Ambrose, M.7
institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad, Serbia 2Green Lane Agricultural Assistance NGO, Yerevan, Armenia 3National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany, Yerevan, Armenia 4Agritec Plant Research Ltd., Sumperk, Czech Republic 5Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK 6N. I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, St. Petersburg, Russia
John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK
Vavilovia (Vavilovia formosa (Stev.) Fed., syn. Pisum formosum (Stev.) Alef.) is a close botanical relative to vetchling (Lathyrus L.), lentil (Lens Mill.), pea (Pisum L.) and vetch (Vicia L.) which collectively form the tribe Fabeae (1). Its exact taxonomic position within the tribe has been examined for almost two centuries with molecular tools introduced rather recently and with already clarifying outcomes (2).
V. formosa has limited geographical distribution, ranging from the West Taurus Mountains in Turkey to southwest Iran and from Lebanon to north Caucasus. It is a perennial and a typical high-mountain plant (3) that is found at altitudes from 1500 to 3200 masl. V. formosa prefers shale or rocky ground, especially loose limestone screes and; therefore, has a well-developed root system (4). The goal of this preliminary research was to assess the chemical composition of the vegetative and generative organs of V. formosa.
Materials and Methods
Two expeditions were carried out in 2009 to Mount Ughtasar in southern Armenia which is one of the three main habitats of V. formosa in the country (6). The first expedition, on July 17, resulted in collection of herbarium material of roots (Fig. la), stems (Fig. lb), leaves (Fig. lc) and flowers (Fig. Id) from one of the V. formosa populations, located at an altitude of between 3305 and 3315 masl, and a detailed soil chemical analysis was performed (Table l). The second expedition to the same place, on August 27, provided pods (Fig. le) with mostly immature and not fully developed seeds.
Figure l. V. formosa material collected from the Mount Ughtasar in July and August2009: (a) roots; (b) stems; (c) leaves; (d) flowers; (e) pods with seeds.
Pisum Genetics
2010-Volume 42
Research Papers
Prior to analysis all plant organs were air dried to a constant moisture content (10%). Total concentration of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) in the plant organs were determined by dry combustion using an automatic CNS analyzer (Vario EL III, Elementar). The total concentration of calcium (Ca), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), cobalt (Co) and boron (B) in the root, stem, leaf and flower samples were determined by an ICP-OES (Varian, Vista-Pro) after digestion in a mixture of 10 ml of HNO3 (65%) and 2 ml of H2O2 (30%) using the microwave technique. The concentrations of these elements were not measured in the pods and seeds due to a lack of material.
Results and Discussion
Macroelements. The nitrogen content of V. formosa dry matter ranged from 1.37% in the pods to 5.73% in the seeds (Table 2). Crude protein content in leaf dry matter surpasses 200 g kg-1 based of the nitrogen content and the multiplication coefficient of 6.25. Crude protein content of the seed was higher than 350 g kg-1, although the analyzed seeds were not fully mature and thus might contain more crude protein in comparison to mature seeds. Both values may explain why V. formosa is severely endangered by grazing from domestic and wild animals and through seed loss caused by mice (5). The carbon content was relatively homogenous in all V. formosa organs, varying between 39.97% in its roots and 41.39% in its pods. The flowers and the seeds of V. formosa were richest in sulphur with 0.35% and 0.34%, while the stems were the poorest with 0.14%.
V. formosa flowers had the greatest content of Ca (ll.40%) (Table 2). Leaves and flowers had roughly twice the content of K (1.44 % and 1.33%) and Mg (0.29 % and 0.27%) compared to roots and stems. The highest Na content was in the flowers (0.13%).
Microelements. The content of Cu, Co and Mo in all analysed plant organs were below detection limits. The highest content of Fe (1651 mg kg-1) was in the roots. The roots also had the greatest content of Mn (61.76 mg kg-1) while the leaves had the greatest content of Zn (72.ll mg kg-1). It is noteworthy that boron was accumulated to the highest extent (262.60 mg kg-1) in the flowers of V. formosa (Table 3.).
Pisum Genetics
2010-Volume 42
Research Papers
The preliminary research on the macro- and microelement content in V. formosa provides a solid background for further testing of its tolerance to the lack and surplus of individual elements, as well as assessing its nutritional value and comparison to pea and other related species.
This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development, Republic of Serbia, Grants No. and 20090 and 31024.
The authors are grateful to Darko Znaor, Zvonimir Bede and Dusan Dozet for their assistance. References
1. Kenicer, G.J., Smykal, P., Visnhakova, M. and Mikic, A. 2009. Grain Legumes 51: 8.
2. Smykal, P., Kenicer, G.J. and Mikic, A. 2009. Book of Abstracts of the IV Congress of the Serbian Genetic Society, Tara, Serbia, l-5 June 2009, p. 166.
3. Akopian, J.A. and Gabrielyan, I.G. 2008. Crop Wild Relative 6: 26-27.
4. Mikic, A., Smykal, P., Kenicer, G., Sarukhanyan, N., Akopian, J., Gabrielyan, I., Vanyan, A., Sinjushin, A., Demidenko, N., Cupina, B., Mihailovic, V., Vishnyakova, M. and Ambrose, M. 2010. Field and Vegetable Crops Research 47: 387-394.
5. Mikic, A., Smykal, P., Kenicer, G., Vishnyakova, M., Akopian, J., Sarukhanyan, N., Gabrielyan, I., Vanyan, A., Toker, C., Cupina, B., Ambrose, M., Mihailovic, V. and Ellis, N. 2009. Pisum Genetics 41: 34-39.
6. Akopian, J., Sarukhanyan, N., Gabrielyan, I., Vanyan, A., Mikic, A., Smykal, P., Kenicer, G., Vishnyakova, M., Sinjushin, A., Demidenko, N. and Ambrose, M. 2010. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 57: 1127-1134.