Plant genotype, microbial recruitment and nutritional security
The effects of methyl jasmonate (MeJa) treatment as an elicitor of artichoke plants [Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus (L.) Fiori] on the yield and quality attributes of artichokes, especially those related to individual phenolic content and antioxidant activity, at two harvest dates and along storage were analyzed in this research. Plants treated gave a higher yield of artichokes in comparison to control plants, with 0.55 kg more per plant. MeJa treatment also increased artichoke quality and phenolic content in the edible fraction at harvest and during storage at 2 °C for 28 days as a result of the accumulation of hydroxycinnamic acids and luteolin derivatives. In addition, antioxidant activity was enhanced by MeJa treatment and correlated with the total phenolic content. Results suggest that MeJa foliar application could be a simple and practical tool to improve the yield and phytochemical content on artichokes, with elicitation being a cheap and environmentally friendly procedure to improve the health-beneficial effects of artichoke consumption.