Libidibia ferrea, popularly known as ironwood is a medicinal plant of the Caatinga, in semi-arid Brazil. It is used for traditional medicine because it has bioactive compounds. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have been shown to improve the production of biomolecules in some plants. The objective of this study was to select efficient AMF for optimizing the growth and production of bioactive compounds in L. ferrea seedlings. Mycorrhization, mainly with Gigaspora albida, was efficient in improving the production of L. ferrea seedlings. It resulted in a larger stem diameter, higher chlorophyll a leaf content, higher amount of total proteins and flavonoids compared to that of non- mycorrhized seedlings. The biotechnological system using G. albida is an alternative for the production of L. ferrea seedlings, with increased levels of foliar flavonoids.
Key words: Glomeromycota, Libidibia ferrea, flavonoids, Leguminosae, semi-arid.
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