Survey of bioactive metabolites in selected cultivars and varieties of <i>Lactuca sativa</i> L. under water stress


  • Ines Eichholz
  • Nadja Förster
  • Christian Ulrichs
  • Monika Schreiner
  • Susanne Huyskens-Keil Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, FG Urbane Ökophysiologie, Forschungsgruppe Produktqualität/Qualitätssicherung



Carotenoids, polyphenols, dietary fiber, lettuce, drought, waterlogging


Plants respond to water stress with a variety of physiological and biochemical changes, but their response vary between species, varieties and cultivars. The present study focused on changes of bio-functional phytochemicals (phenolic compounds, chlorophyll, carotenoids, dietary fiber) in commercial cultivars and old, traditional varieties of lettuce under different water regimes (water-deficit, well-watered and water-logged).

Results revealed lettuce varieties and cultivars with a different response behavior to water stress. Biomass production under drought conditions was reduced significantly. Carotenoid and chlorophyll contents decreased in both water extremes, while total phenols were accumulated under limited water availability. Dietary fiber content was not influenced by different water regimes. Water stress reduces biomass production and led to a change of phytochemicals in lettuce, however, old and traditional varieties did not show a different water stress adaptation compared to commercial cultivars.