Effectiveness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) for inducing the accumulation of major carotenoids, chlorophylls and tocopherol in green and red leaf lettuces
Previous studies demonstrated that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can induce the accumulation of carotenoids, phenolics, anthocyanins and some mineral nutrients in leaves of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) thus enhancing its nutritional quality. Our objectives were to know which carotenoids were the most accumulated in leaves of mycorrhizal lettuces and to assess the effect of AMF on tocopherols' levels in leaves of lettuce plants. AMF always enhanced growth and, in most cases, increased the levels of all major carotenoids, chlorophylls and tocopherols in green and red leaf lettuces. Since these molecules are also important nutraceuticals, mycorrhization emerges as reliable technique to enhance the nutritional value of edible vegetables. These results are compared with other methods developed to improve nutritional quality.