Houttuynia cordata Thunb. is an aromatic herb rich in monoterpenes. However, little information is available about the effect of potassium (K) on the monoterpene production. In this study, plants were cultured with different K levels and the monoterpenes in H. cordata were determined. Results showed that total monoterpene content only had a minor share (9.85%) of essential oil in the control treatment (0 mM), while it showed a remarkable increase in the treatments supplemented with potassium and 10.26 mM K resulted in the maximum total monoterpenes (43.25%). The total monoterpenes was strongly associated with the stimulation of monoterpene hydrocarbons. According to correlation analysis, the increase of monoterpenes was mainly attributed to potassium supplementation. This implies that potassium is very important for the monoterpene production of H. cordata.
Key words: Essential oil, Houttuynia cordata, monoterpenes, potassium.
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