The Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality is the Open Access journal of the German Society for Quality Research on Plant Foods and the Section Applied Botany of the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG). It provides a platform for scientists to disseminate recent results of applied plant research in plant physiology and plant ecology, plant biotechnology, plant cultivation, phytomedicine, plant nutrition, plant stress and resistance, plant microbiology, plant analysis (including -omics techniques), and plant food chemistry. The articles have a clear focus on botanical and plant quality aspects and contain new and innovative information based on state-of-the-art methodologies.

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image of amaranthus cruentes

Nutritional diversity in leaves of various amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) genotypes and its resilience to drought stress

by N. Förster, S. Dilling, C. Ulrichs and S. Huyskens-Keil
(Image: Amaranthus cruentes, by C T Johansson, CC-BY 3.0)

The nutritional diversity in leaves of twelve accessions of four amaranth species (Amaranthus caudatus, A. cruentus, A. hybridus, A. hypochondriacus) was studied in a randomized complete block design (n = 5). The accessions revealed high contents of the macronutrients K, Ca, Mg, and P, while the micronutrients Fe and Zn were comparatively low (542 – 717, 304 – 497, 131 – 230, 74 – 166, 0.9 – 1.3, 0.4 – 0.9 mg 100 g-1 fresh weight, respectively). Protein contents were found to be higher (23 – 32%) compared to other commonly consumed leafy vegetables in Sub-Saharan-Africa. Phenolic acid and flavonoid contents strongly varied between accessions and to some extent were lower in comparison to those reported in literature. Amaranth is reported to be drought tolerant, thus, one accession of each species was subjected to two different drought stress conditions (moderate – 35 – 45% field capacity, severe – 15 – 25% field capacity, n = 3). Well-watered plants were used as control (60 – 70% field capacity). A significant reduction in plant height and fresh matter occurred in all accessions with increasing drought stress, whereas contents of nutritional compounds increased. Phenolic acids and flavonoid contents in all accessions/species were not affected by drought stress except for A. cruentus where total phenolic acids significantly increased