Dynamics of yield components and stevioside production in Stevia rebaudiana grown under different planting times, plant stands and harvest regime

Mordechai Serfaty, Mwafaq Ibdah, Ravit Fischer, David Chaimovitsh, Yehoshua Saranga, Nativ Dudai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Bertoni is well known because of its accumulation of the sweet-tasting ent-kaurene diterpeneoid glycoside, which tastes about 300 times as sweet as sucrose. Although stevioside is one of the most abundant and best analyzed, more than 30 additional steviol glycosides so far have been identified and described. Stevioside concentration in the leaves is known to vary widely, depending on the growing conditions and agricultural practices. The present study aimed to examine the feasibility of growing Stevia as an open-field crop in Israel. In order to determine the agricultural practices required for optimizing Stevia biomass production and stevioside yield, effects of planting and harvest times upon plant development, biomass yield components, and stevioside content were examined. The optimal planting season, manifested in intensive plant development and maximal plant biomass yield, was at the beginning of spring, i.e., mid-March to early April. A minimal stand of 10 plants/m2 was found more favorable than lower stands of 6, 8, or 10 plants/m2''. The optimal harvesting time, with the highest stevioside yield of about 30g/m2 was at the beginning of September, prior to flowering initiation. Moreover, harvesting at this time yielded increased leaf biomass, highly suitable for commercial stevioside extraction. Thus, Stevia rebaudiana offers substantial potential for introduction as a commercial agricultural crop for stevioside production in Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)731-736
Number of pages6
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
Volume50
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development . We thank Mr. Daniel Segev for his help in this project.

Keywords

  • Biomass production
  • Stevia rebaudiana
  • Stevioside

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