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Bioactive Natural Compounds: Protecting Plants and Promoting Human Health

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2024 | Viewed by 4201

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
CREA Research Centre for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Via dei Fiori 8, 51017 Pescia, Italy
Interests: phytochemistry; isolation and characterization of glucosinolates and derivatives; evaluation of biological potential of glucosinolates and derivatives; identification of molecular mechanisms of biological actions; biostimulants; biopesticides; nutraceuticals; bioaccessibility; bioavailability
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, interest in natural resources, e.g., plants, biomass processing coproducts, microorganisms and algae, as the source of bioactive compounds, has been booming worldwide. Climate, economic and social change are the main drivers challenging the scientific community to find effective and sustainable bio-based products to meet new legislations and consumer choices. Bioactive natural compounds offer a wide variety of possible applications, ranging from plant protection to human-health-promoting effects. The knowledge about the broad diversity of natural compounds is continuously evolving and gathering the effort of scientists of several disciplines involved in multidisciplinary research projects.

This Special Issue on “Bioactive Natural Compounds: Protecting Plants and Promoting Human Health” welcomes original research and reviews covering several aspects of natural compounds including, but not limited to, the following: their discovery in and from different sources; their extraction, isolation and characterization; their biotechnological production and chemical modification; the evaluation of their in vitro and in vivo bioactivity; their role at a molecular level and the elucidation of their mechanism of action; and the investigation of their stability and functionality for potential practical application in plant protection and human health.

Dr. Gina Rosalinda De Nicola
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • natural products
  • molecular biology
  • chemical characterization
  • bioactivity
  • mechanism of action
  • plant protection
  • human health promotion
  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammation
  • biopesticides
  • biostimulants
  • nutraceuticals

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 1138 KiB  
Article
Hesperidin as a Species-Specific Modifier of Aphid Behavior
by Katarzyna Stec, Bożena Kordan, Jan Bocianowski and Beata Gabryś
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(9), 4822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25094822 - 28 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Hesperidin is a highly bioactive natural flavonoid whose role in ecological interactions is poorly known. In particular, the effects of hesperidin on herbivores are rarely reported. Flavonoids have been considered as prospective biopesticides; therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine [...] Read more.
Hesperidin is a highly bioactive natural flavonoid whose role in ecological interactions is poorly known. In particular, the effects of hesperidin on herbivores are rarely reported. Flavonoids have been considered as prospective biopesticides; therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the influence of hesperidin on the host plant selection behavior of three aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) species: Acyrthosiphon pisum Harrris, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.), and Myzus persicae (Sulz.). The aphid host plants were treated with 0.1% and 0.5% ethanolic solutions of hesperidin. Aphid probing behavior in the no-choice experiment was monitored using electropenetrography and aphid settling on plants in the choice experiment was recorded. The results demonstrated that hesperidin can be applied as a pre-ingestive, ingestive, and post-ingestive deterrent against A. pisum, as an ingestive deterrent against R. padi, and as a post-ingestive deterrent against M. persicae using the relatively low 0.1% concentration. While in A. pisum the deterrent effects of hesperidin were manifested as early as during aphid probing in peripheral plant tissues, in M. persicae, the avoidance of plants was probably the consequence of consuming the hesperidin-containing phloem sap. Full article
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15 pages, 3196 KiB  
Article
Biocontrol Potential of Streptomyces odonnellii SZF-179 toward Alternaria alternata to Control Pear Black Spot Disease
by Fei Zhang, Shaohua Wen, Beibei Wang, Zhe Zhang, Fang Liu, Ting Ye, Kaimei Wang, Hongju Hu, Xiaoping Yang and Wei Fang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417515 - 15 Dec 2023
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Abstract
Pear black spot disease, caused by Alternaria alternata, is a devastating disease in pears and leads to enormous economic losses worldwide. In this investigation, we isolated a Streptomyces odonnellii SZF-179 from the rhizosphere soil of pear plants in China. Indoor confrontation experiments results [...] Read more.
Pear black spot disease, caused by Alternaria alternata, is a devastating disease in pears and leads to enormous economic losses worldwide. In this investigation, we isolated a Streptomyces odonnellii SZF-179 from the rhizosphere soil of pear plants in China. Indoor confrontation experiments results showed that both SZF-179 and its aseptic filtrate had excellent inhibitory effects against A. alternata. Afterwards, the main antifungal compound of SZF-179 was identified as polyene, with thermal and pH stability in the environment. A microscopic examination of A. alternata mycelium showed severe morphological abnormalities caused by SZF-179. Protective studies showed that SZF-179 fermentation broth could significantly reduce the diameter of the necrotic lesions on pear leaves by 42.25%. Furthermore, the potential of fermentation broth as a foliar treatment to control black leaf spot was also evaluated. Disease indexes of ‘Hosui’ and ‘Wonwhang’ pear plants treated with SZF-179 fermentation broth were lower than that of control plants. Overall, SZF-179 is expected to be developed into a safe and broad-spectrum biocontrol agent. No studies to date have evaluated the utility of S. odonnellii for the control of pear black spot disease; our study fills this research gap. Collectively, our findings provide new insights that will aid the control of pear black spot disease, as well as future studies of S. odonnellii strains. Full article
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Review

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19 pages, 1211 KiB  
Review
Puerarin—A Promising Flavonoid: Biosynthesis, Extraction Methods, Analytical Techniques, and Biological Effects
by Sergio Liga and Cristina Paul
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(10), 5222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25105222 - 10 May 2024
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Abstract
Flavonoids, a variety of plant secondary metabolites, are known for their diverse biological activities. Isoflavones are a subgroup of flavonoids that have gained attention for their potential health benefits. Puerarin is one of the bioactive isoflavones found in the Kudzu root and Pueraria [...] Read more.
Flavonoids, a variety of plant secondary metabolites, are known for their diverse biological activities. Isoflavones are a subgroup of flavonoids that have gained attention for their potential health benefits. Puerarin is one of the bioactive isoflavones found in the Kudzu root and Pueraria genus, which is widely used in alternative Chinese medicine, and has been found to be effective in treating chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases, gastric diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Puerarin has been extensively researched and used in both scientific and clinical studies over the past few years. The purpose of this review is to provide an up-to-date exploration of puerarin biosynthesis, the most common extraction methods, analytical techniques, and biological effects, which have the potential to provide a new perspective for medical and pharmaceutical research and development. Full article
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20 pages, 1621 KiB  
Review
The Precious Potential of the Sacred Tree Chamaecyparis obtusa (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl. as a Source of Secondary Metabolites with Broad Biological Applications
by Karol Maksymilian Górski, Tomasz Kowalczyk, Laurent Picot, Patricia Rijo, Mansour Ghorbanpour and Przemysław Sitarek
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 2723; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25052723 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Chamaecyparis obtusa (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl., which belongs to the Cupressaceae family, occurs naturally in North America and Asia, especially in Korea, Taiwan and Japan, where it is an evergreen, coniferous, sacred, ethnic tree. It has many useful varieties that are widespread throughout [...] Read more.
Chamaecyparis obtusa (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl., which belongs to the Cupressaceae family, occurs naturally in North America and Asia, especially in Korea, Taiwan and Japan, where it is an evergreen, coniferous, sacred, ethnic tree. It has many useful varieties that are widespread throughout the world and grown for decorative purposes. It is most commonly used as an ornamental plant in homes, gardens or parks. It is also widely used in many areas of the economy; for example, its wood is used in architecture as well as furniture production. In addition, oil extracted from Chamaecyparis obtusa is increasingly used in cosmetology for skin care. Due to its wide economic demand, mainly in Japan, it represents the largest area of plantation forest. Despite this, it is on the red list of endangered species. Its use in ethnopharmacology has led to more and more research in recent years in an attempt to elucidate the potential mechanisms of its various biological activities, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, analgesic and central nervous system effects. It has also been shown that Chamaecyparis obtusa can be used as an insect repellent and an ingredient in plant disease treatment. This thesis provides a comprehensive review of the biological studies to date, looking at different areas of the economic fields of potential use of Chamaecyparis obtusa. Full article
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