BIOCHEMICAL EVALUATION OF THE OKRA [ABELMOSCHUS ESCULENTUS (L.) MOENCH] FRUIT UNDER SEASONAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGESSupatra Sen and S. Mukherji
Plants coordinate their metabolic activity with their fluctuating environments, and growth and metabolism are greatly altered to deal with the abiotic environmental stressors. Chlorophyll, carotene, xanthophll, ascorbate and pectic substances were estimated in 7-day old fruits of Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench (Okra) grown in natural environmental conditions of Calcutta (22.34° North and 88.24° East). Summer season environmental conditions produced best quality yield as exhibited by elevated amounts of all the constituents measured. A high chlorophyll content served as an index of high productivity, while greater amounts of the antioxidants-carotene, xanthophyll and ascorbate served as efficient scavengers of the harmful active oxygen species. The rainy and winter seasons proved to be periods of environmental stress exhibiting low concentrations of all the estimated constituents, which in turn were indicative of low productivity and poor scavenging capacity.
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