Growth and production of volatile compounds of yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) under different irrigation depths
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Abstract Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L., Asteraceae) is an important medicinal plant used worldwide for its medicinal properties such as the analgesic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ones. The aim of this study was to evaluate the growth and production of photosynthetic pigments and of volatile constituents of Achillea millefolium L. under different irrigation depths. The treatments were the application of 55, 110, 220, 440 and 880 mm of water for a period of 110 days. Data were submitted to polynomial regression analysis at 5% probability, while the volatile constituents were analyzed by standard deviation. Different irrigation depths provided quadratic growth responses being the highest dry matter production at the depth of 440 mm. The contents of chlorophyll a, b, total and carotenoids were higher at the lower depth tested (55 mm). The major volatile compounds identified were sabinene, 1,8-cineol, borneol and β-caryophyllene. Increased water availability reduced the complexity of the volatile fraction of essential oil. Thus, it is recommended that the species be cultivated at 440 mm irrigation depth to have a higher production of dry matter and lower variation in the volatile profile of the essential oil.