Vegetative propagation of Piper aduncum L. (matico) using cuttings of varying lenghts and differente substrates



Vegetative propagation of Piper aduncum L. (matico) using cuttings of varying lenghts and different substrates


Propagación vegetativa de Piper aduncum L. (pimiento de mono) en esquejes de distintas longitudes y en diferentes sustratos



Aurea Portes Ferriani1*
Erik Nunes Gomes1
Diones Krinsk2

Cicero Deschamps3

1 Universidade Federal do Parana, Brasil.
2 Universidade Estadual do Mato Grosso - UNEMAT - Campus Tangara da Serra, Brasil.
3 Departamento de Fitotecnia e Fitossanitarismo, Setor de Ciëncias Agrarias, UFPR, Universidade Federal do Parana, Brasil.




Introduction: Piper aduncum L. (Piperaceae), commonly known as matico, produces an oil with repellent, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antitumor and antiprotozoal activity.
Objective: Evaluate the rooting of P. aduncum cuttings of varying lengths in different substrates.
Methods: P. aduncum branches and leaves were collected in February 2016 at Bom Jesus Nature Reserve (25°29'69.3''S and 49°00'84.4''W) in Antonina, Paraná, Brazil. The cuttings were 10, 15 and 20 cm in length and an average 6 mm in diameter. They were planted in 53 cm3 plastic tubes and kept under intermittent mist. The substrates used were sand of average-sized particles, vermiculite and the commercial substrate Tropstrato HP®. At 60 days evaluation was performed of survival and mortality rates, cuttings with new buds, and the number and average duration of the three main roots.
Results: Verification was conducted of the interaction between length and substrate for rooting variables, percentages of cuttings with buds, and number of roots per cutting. The 10-cm-long cuttings planted in the sand substrate reached the highest rooting percentage (26.5 %). Lower values were observed in longer cuttings planted in vermiculite. The commercial substrate Tropstrato HT exhibited intermediate values and smaller variations in the length of cuttings with no statistical differences.
Conclusion: The best rooting rates are obtained with sand substrate and 10-cm-long cuttings. It is recommended that additional studies are conducted to define the most efficient protocols for the species.

Key words: aromatic species, rooting, pepper.


Introducción: Piper aduncum L., conocida como pimienta de mono, perteneciente a la familia Piperaceae produce un aceite que tiene actividad repelente, antimicrobiana, insecticida, antitumoral y antiprotozoaria.
Objetivo: Evaluar el enraizamiento de los esquejes de P. aduncum con diferentes longitudes en diferentes sustratos.

Métodos: Se colectaron las ramas y las hojas de P. aduncum en febrero de 2016 en la Reserva Biológica Bom Jesus (25°29'69,3''S e 49°00'84,4''W), Antonina, Paraná, Brasil. Los esquejes tenían 10, 15 y 20 cm de largo y un promedio de 6 mm de diámetro. Se plantaron en tubos de plástico de 53cm3 y se mantuvieron bajo niebla intermitente. Se utilizó sustrato de arena con partícula de tamaño promedio, sustrato de vermiculita y el sustrato comercial Tropstrato HP®. Después de 60 días se evaluaron las tasas de supervivencia, de mortalidad, los esquejes con nuevos brotes, y el número y la duración promedio de las tres raíces principales.
Resultados: Se verificaron la interacción entre los factores longitud y sustrato para las variables de enraizamiento, los porcentajes de los esquejes con brotes y el número de raíces por estaca. Los esquejes de 10 cm de largo en el sustrato de arena mostraron el mayor porcentaje de enraizamiento (26,5 %). Se observaron los valores más bajos en los esquejes de mayor longitud mantenidos en vermiculita. El sustrato comercial Tropstrato HT mostró valores intermedios y variaciones menores en la longitud de los esquejes sin diferencias estadísticas.
Conclusión: Las mejores tasas de enraizamiento se obtienen con el uso del sustrato arena y en los esquejes de 10 cm de largo. Se recomienda realizar estudios adicionales para definir los protocolos más eficientes para la especie.

Palabras clave: especie aromática; enraizamiento; pimienta.




The prospection of vegetal resources is developed collecting and studying of plant species which are sampled in situ for its later domestication. The development of propagation protocols for native plant species is of special interest to provide a source of renewable raw material used by the industry, considering phytochemical perspective,1 and to preserve the genetic resources, considering sustainability in environmental and social terms.2,3

The genus Piper has a wide distribution America and Asia and includes several species used worldwide. Species of this genus are widely used in folk medicine, especially in Brazil, and many of them possess considerable importance due to proven pharmacological activities and/or the production of essential oils in their structures.4 The essential oils of different species have been largely researched under different biological aspects.5 Piper aduncum L., known as matico, produces essential oil with proven repellent,6antimicrobial,7 insecticide,8-11 antitumor and antiprotozoal1 activities.

Vegetative propagation studies seek to support the production of seedlings through specific protocols, considering that the adventitious rooting is dependent on the interaction between environmental and endogenous factors of the species.12

Nevertheless, even with the increasing studies carried out with the propagation of several Piperaceae species,3, 13-16 the studies with P. Aduncum are still incipient. Therefore, the objective of this research was to evaluate the rooting of stem cuttings of P. aduncum with different lengths and installed in different substrates.



Branches with leaves were collected from adult plants of P. aduncum (herbarium registration: MBM 336,208) in the "Biological Reserve Bom Jesus", Antonina, State of Parana, Brazil (25°29'69,3''S e 49°00'84,4''W), in February 2016. The plant material was moistened and conditioned in black polyethylene bags to transport to greenhouse in the Agrarian Sciences sector at Federal University of Paraná, and was maintained under intermittent nebulization until the moment of the preparation of the propagules.

Stem cuttings with an average diameter of 6 mm were prepared with 10, 15 and 20 cm length corresponding to treatments. The material was prepared with a diagonal cut (bevel) at the base and upright in the upper portion of the cutting. One leaf reduced in half was maintained in the region of the apex of the cuttings. The cuttings were planted in polypropylene tubets with a volume of 120 cm3 and kept in a greenhouse conditions under intermittent mist.

Each treatment consisted of four replicates containing 14 cuttings per plot, in a 3x3 factorial arrangement (three cutting lengths and three substrates). The substrates evaluated were sieved medium sand, vermiculite of medium granulometry and commercial substrate Tropstrato HP®. After 60 days the rooting, mortality and sprouting percentages, number and average length of the roots were evaluated.

The data were submitted to analysis of variance homogeneity by the Bartlett's test, analysis of variance ANOVA and, when significant, the means were compared by the Tukey's test at 5 % probability, using statistical software Assistat.17



The rooting evaluation showed interaction between the factors length of stem cuttings and substrate, the same behaviour for sprouting percentages and number of roots per cutting. These results meant influence of substrate or length in each analysed variable.

Evaluating the factors alone, the substrate influenced rooting, sprouting and number of roots, while the length of the cuttings influenced the rooting, number and average length of roots. (Table 1).

Cuttings with 10 cm in sand substrate showed the highest rooting percentage (26.5 %). In this length there was no difference on rooting response between the three substrates.

The lowest average of rooting was observed in stem cuttings with 20 cm when vermiculite was used as substrate (1.75 %).The rooting of stem cuttings with 15 and 20 cm was reduced in sand substrate. The length of stem cuttings did not affect the rooting in Tropstrato HT® substrate (Table 2).

High mortality percentages (73.0 to 94.75 %) were observed, with no significant variation between treatments. For the percentage of sprouting higher values were also observed in the interaction between the sand substrate and the cuttings of smaller length. Lower sprouting values were observed in the substrate Tropstrato HT® and vermiculite in all cutting lengths. The figure presented the aspect of a branch of P. aduncum used to prepare the stem cuttings, the tubet used for planting the cuttings, the aspect of a stem cutting with adventitious roots emission and a dead cutting.


Figure. A: Piper aduncum L. branch with leaves used for preparing the stem cuttings; B: polypropylene tubet used for planting the stem cuttings;
C: Rooted stem cutting (10 cm) with leaf maintenance and sprouting; D: Dead stem cutting (10 cm).


The highest number of roots per cutting was observed in the interaction between cuttings of 15 cm and sand. The lowest value for this variable was the interaction between the 20 cm cuttings and the vermiculite. The average roots length was higher in cuttings with 10 cm and was not affected by the substrates (Table 2).



The rhizogenic potential of P. aduncum is limited due to the small volume of agronomic information about the species. The researches with vegetative propagation are limited to the research of Dousseau,3 who evaluated the effects of stem cutting position in the branches and substrates over the rooting potential of stem cuttings for seedling formation. According to the author, cuttings from apical and median regions presented percentages of mortality lower than 20 % in sand substrate, while the rice bark and vermiculite substrates promoted mortality values near to 100 %, similarly to the present study.

Comparing with species of the genus, rooting percentages are similar to those reported by Gomes and Krinski15 for Piper amalago L., in which maximum percentages (22.92 %) were observed in cuttings collected from basal region of the branches and in soil substrate. These authors also verified reduced rooting in vermiculite for that species. For Piper umbellatum L., low rooting values are also recorded, with maximums of 37.5 %,13 although Gomes and Krinski16 reported values of up to 53.8 % for the species using 15 cm shoot cuttings.

The variation in the adventitious rhizogenic response has been related to factors such as maturation of propagules (lignification), endogenous factors of the species (presence of auxins and cofactors) or seasonality (period of collection of propagules) as mentioned by Facchinello et al.18 In this aspect, it is interesting to note that the collection of stem cuttings for the present experiment was carried out during the summer, with intense vegetative growth of the plants in the field. The stresses from the cut, the tissue exposure and the elevated temperature in the rooting environment may have contributed to the reduction of the rooting potential. For the medicinal species Varronia curassavica Jacq., similarly, the low rooting values (maximum of 32.5 %) were attributed to the influence of seasonality.19

The highest values of rooting, sprouting and average roots length in cuttings of 10 cm in relation to the longer cuttings may be related to the fact that larger cuttings are more susceptible to dehydration due to the large surface exposed to the environment and the greater demand of water to supply the great amount of living tissue.20 These results differ from those obtained by Gomes and Krinski16 who reported higher average roots length in cuttings of P. umbellatum with 20 cm length compared to those with10 cm length.

The sand substrate presented the highest values of rooting and shoots in comparison to the other substrates. This fact demonstrates that the species needs more aeration than moisture in the substrate, since the sand has a greater amount of macropores, reducing the mortality of the cuttings and favoring the adventitious rooting.14 The best performance on the sand corroborates with the results of Dousseau3 for P. aduncum and Cunha et al.14 for Piper hispidum Sw.

Despite the low rooting percentages observed, this study provides relevant information from an agricultural point of view because it is one of the first attempts to establish a protocol for propagating P. aduncum, since the economic exploitation of the species is currently limited to extractivism. The option for not using plant regulators was based on the evaluation of the intrinsic rhizogenic potential of the species. Due to the results, complementary studies are necessary to evaluate the effect of plant regulators and seasonality on the adventitious rooting and seedling formation of the species, in order to define the best practices for the sustainable economic exploitation of P. aduncum.


The authors are grateful for the confirmation of the identification of the species and deposit of voucher specimens by the technicians from Herbarium Municipal Botanical Museum of Curitiba. We also thank Capes for the scholarships granted.

Conflicto de intereses

Los autores plantean que no tienen conflicto de intereses.



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Recibido: 28/04/2017
Aprobado: 26/06/2018



Aurea Portes Ferriani. Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brasil. Correo electrónico:


Copyright (c) 2019 Aurea Portes Ferriani, Erik Nunes Gomes, Diones Krinski, Cicero Deschamps

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