Study of Aconitum barbatum in the southern Tomsk region in wild and horticultural conditions

Tatjana G. Kharina


Background: The recent finding that the diterpene alkaloid songorine, isolated from Aconitum barbatum Pers., has anxiolytic properties highlights the need for reliable sources of this plant.Objective: This study seeks to produce a highly productive introductory population of A. barbatum Pers. Materials and Methods: Monitoring of this species in natural coenopopulations allowed selection of two A. barbatum coenopopulations in southern Tomsk, Russia, for initial experiments. Individual A. barbatum plants having favorable morphobiological factors were identified to form the basis for an introductive population production. Results: The seasonal development rhythm of A. barbatum is long vegetative, with a green cycle from spring-to-autumn. Under horticultural conditions, A. barbatum regularly blooms and bears fruit. The number of chromosomes in plants is retained at the diploid number (2n = 16). Comparative estimation of A. barbatum pollen grain morphology showed slight differences in grain size among the studied coenopopulations. Conclusion: The high fertility of pollen grains and low level of meiotic anomalies suggested that plants from these coenopopulations could be used successfully as an introductory population. Based on the predictable developmental rhythm of A. barbatum in southern Tomsk, this region could be a foundation to create a raw material base and preserve plants growing in the subzone of the southern taiga of Western Siberia.

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