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The aim of the work was to investigate the short-term effects of high temperature on the flavonoid accumulation in Artemisia vulgaris L. and A. dracunculus L "hairy" roots.
The roots were cultivated for one, two, and five days at +36 °C, then were grown at +24 °C for up to four weeks. The flavonoid content (expressed in rutin equivalent, RE) of ethanolic extracts was determined using a AlCl3 method. "Hairy" root lines differed in their sensitivity to short-term high-temperature exposure. Both stimulation and inhibition of flavonoid accumulation, as well as no changes were observed in “hairy” root lines. Significant (1.7–6.4 times) decrease in the flavonoid content was observed in lines which characterized by a higher flavonoid content under standard conditions (+ 24 ° C) without the temperature stress exposure. For both species, the average or strong negative correlation (R2 = 0.37–0.85) was observed for weight gain from the time of thermal stress. Thus, A. vulgaris and A. dracunculus “hairy” roots differed in the cellular metabolism activity. They differed in the ability of flavonoids synthesis and sensitivity to the short-term high temperature exposure. Such exposure can lead both to activation and inhibition of the synthesis of biologically active compounds, particularly, flavonoids.