Impact of soil field water capacity on secondary metabolites, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), maliondialdehyde (MDA) and photosynthetic responses of Malaysian kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila Benth)

Molecules. 2012 Jun 13;17(6):7305-22. doi: 10.3390/molecules17067305.


A randomized complete block design 2 × 4 experiment was designed and conducted for 15 weeks to characterize the relationships between production of total phenolics, flavonoid, anthocyanin, leaf gas exchange, total chlorophyll, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and malondialdehyde (MDA) activity in two varieties of Labisia pumila Benth, namely the var. alata and pumila, under four levels of evapotranspiration replacement (ER) (100%; well watered), (75%, moderate water stress), (50%; high water stress) and (25%; severe water stress). The production of total phenolics, flavonoids, anthocyanin, soluble sugar and relative leaf water content was affected by the interaction between varieties and SWC. As the ER levels decreased from 100% to 25%, the production of PAL and MDA activity increased steadily. At the highest (100%) ER L. pumila exhibited significantly higher net photosynthesis, apparent quantum yield, maximum efficiency of photosystem II (f(v)/f(m)) and lower dark respiration rates compared to the other treatment. The production of total phenolics, flavonoids and anthocyanin was also found to be higher under high water stress (50% ER replacement) compared to severe water stress (25% ER). From this study, it was observed that as net photosynthesis, apparent quantum yield and chlorophyll content were downregulated under high water stress the production of total phenolics, flavonoids and anthocyanin were upregulated implying that the imposition of high water stress can enhance the medicinal properties of L. pumila Benth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / chemistry
  • Anthocyanins / metabolism
  • Chlorophyll / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase / metabolism*
  • Photosynthesis*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Primulaceae / chemistry
  • Primulaceae / metabolism*
  • Soil / chemistry*
  • Solubility
  • Sucrose / chemistry
  • Water / chemistry*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Chlorophyll
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Sucrose
  • Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase