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Chemical diversity analysis of Tunisian <i>Lawsonia inermis</i> L. populations

A Boubaya
N Marzougui
LB Yahia
A Ferchichi


Lawsonia inermis L. (commonly known as henna) is a cosmetic and medicinal plant cultivated from North-east Africa to India. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diversity of 25 L. inermis Tunisian populations, based on chemical markers. The populations were collected from the region of Gabès. The leaves and stems macro elements (Na, K, Ca, Mg and P) and trace elements (Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn) were analyzed for each population using spectrophotometry, and the nitrogen content was measured by Kjeldahl technique. The results showed that the leaves had a level of Ca, Na, P and K contents, ranging between 0.2 and 4%. Mg content was less than 0.2%, Cu, Zn and Fe contents were above 0.5, 1.1 and 15%, respectively, Mn content was less than 1.5% and nitrogen matter (NM) content was less than 1.5%. In the stems, P and K contents were respectively, above 5.12 and 0.5%, Mg content was less than 0.08%, Na and Ca contents were less than 0.2%, Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn contents were less than 0.95, 1.7, 4 and 0.5%, respectively and NM contents was less than 0.2%. However, the statistical analysis structured the populations based on the contents of their leaves and stems, in five groups.

Key words: Lawsonia inermis, chemical diversity, macro elements, trace elements, nitrogen content.

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eISSN: 1684-5315