Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Alexandria Brame - Bowie State University
Co-Author(s): Janeen Osei
The goal of this project was to use Benzoic Acid (BA) and Salicylic Acid as a chemical elicitor to increase the synthesis of Beta-Carotene in carrots, Daucus carota. Benzoic Acid was chosen because of its structural and functional relationship to Salicylic acid, which is a popular inducer of systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Beta-Carotene is a type of carotenoid that is a precursor of vitamin A and is extremely beneficial for the body. Beta-carotene is the only carotenoid that converts into vitamin A (retinol) and benefits the skin, mucus membranes, and eyes. Beta Carotene is also a powerful antioxidant, which helps the body fight off free radicals and lowers the risk of developing cancer or heart disease. We pre-treated out plants with diluted benzoic acid and salicylic acid solutions, at 1 μM, 10 μM, and 100 μM. And we continued to water our plants with these designated solutions 3 times a week until the vegetables are fully produced. We also planted control carrots that were watered with distilled H2O. We hypothesized that the solutions would have no negative effect on the plants germination and growth studies, But it would significantly increase the B-Carotene levels in the treated carrots compared to the controls. Germination studies were done by counting and recording the germinates before each time they watered. Growth studies were done by measuring the heights of the plants throughout the growing season once a week while High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was used to assess the synthesis of beta carotene. The plants’ germination studies and growth studies showed no significant difference from the control. But benzoic acid showed no negative effect to plant growth or vegetable production. The results indicated that both BA and SA elicited more Beta-Carotene in the treated carrots than in the control carrots.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Bowie State University
Faculty Advisor: Anne Osano, AOsano@bowiestate.edu
Role: I pre-soaked and planted the treated seeds. I watered the plans 3 times a week with their corresponding solutions. I recorded the germination studies and growth studies. I extracted and processed the Beta-carotene, then continued to run each concentration in the HPLC.