chapter  33
Abiotic Stress Impact and Tolerance of Natural Sweetener Plant Stevia
WithRout Nutan Prasad, Rodríguez-Garay Benjamín, Barranco-Guzmán Angel Martín, Gómez-Entzin Veronica, Rincón-Hernández Manuel
Pages 26

Stevia rebuaidana Bertoni is an important crop because it produces the high potency sweetener rebaudioside-A and other compounds with many health benefits. Paraguay is the country of origin of Stevia rebuaidana Bertoni. It is a perennial plant, of the Asteraceae family and its foliar parts contain diterpenoid steviol glycosides (SGs), a non-toxic, high potency sweetener being nearly 300 times sweeter than sucrose but non-calorific, and it is used in many countries of the world, including many developed countries (Singh and Rao, 2005; Yadav et al., 2011). Geuns (2003) reported that nearly 30% of stevia’s dry weight of leaves contains SGs group of diterpene glycosides and its major part is stevioside whose yield is 0.6–7.9%, followed by rebaudioside-A (reb-A) whose yield is 0.3–6.5% (w/w) (Vouillamoz et al., 2016), and other SGs present in smaller amounts are: steviolbioside, rebaudioside-B, -C, -D, -E, -F, and dulcoside-A (Starratt et al., 2002; Ceunen and Geuns, 2013; Well et al., 2013). Apart from the non-calorific sweetener, it has been reported as having many medicinal uses such as anticariogenic, antineoplastic, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, and antihyperglycemic by many scientists (Mohd-Radzman et al., 2013; Aranda-González et al., 2014). The stevia market was estimated to value at US$ 347 million in 2014 and it is expected to reach US$ 565.2 million by 2020 (