The study has shown that furanocoumarins are the predominant antifungal compounds in Conium maculatum. These are found constitutively in the healthy plant but the amounts of these compounds in induced tissue may increase markedly in some cases, e.g. the concentration of isopimpinellin increased by 103-fold in the CuCl2 induced leaves compared with that in the control. Since these compounds increase largely as a result of chemical stress these compounds can be considered, at least in part, as stress compounds. Variation in the amount and proportion of the antifungal compounds was observed in our study following treatment with various biotic and abiotic elicitors. CuCl2 produced the largest increase in the amounts of antifungal compounds. The simple coumarin, umbelliferone was the main induced compound in the CuCl2 treated leaves, xanthotoxin in inoculated leaves and in CuCl2 treated seedlings of C. maculatum. Variation was also observed in the rate of accumulation of individual compounds using the unspecific elicitor CuCl 2.
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