Claudia Giuliani, Martina Bottoni, Fabrizia Milani, Alberto Spada, Sara Falsini, Alessio Papini, Laura Santagostini, Gelsomina Fico

An Integrative Approach to Selected Species of Tanacetum L. (Asteraceae): Insights into Morphology and Phytochemistry

  • Plant Science
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

In this work, we studied Tanacetum vulgare, Tanacetum parthenium, and Tanacetum corymbosum (Asteraceae) cultivated at the Ghirardi Botanic Garden (Toscolano Maderno, Brescia, Northern Italy) of the University of Milan. An integrative research approach was adopted: microscopic and histochemical, with special focus on the secretory structures responsible for the productivity of secondary metabolites; phytochemical, with the analysis of the essential oil (EO) profiles from the air-dried, flowered aerial parts collected in June 2021; bio-ecological, with emphasis, based on literature data, on the ecology and biological activity of the main EO components. In all three species, two basic trichome morphotypes (flagellar non-glandular and biseriate glandular) occurred with different distribution patterns. The glandular ones produced terpenes, along with flavonoids. A high level of chemical variability in the EO compositions emerged, specifically for qualitative data. T. vulgare profile was more complex and heterogeneous than those obtained from T. parthenium and T. corymbosum, with camphor as the predominant compound, followed by farnesol and α-santalone, respectively. Finally, the obtained scientific findings were made available to the visitors of the botanic garden through new dissemination labeling that highlights the “invisible”, microscopic features of the plants, from an Open Science perspective (“Botanic Garden, factories of molecules…work in progress”—Lombardy Region Project Lr. 25/2016, year 2021).

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