Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 36740

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Arkansas Biosciences Institute, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR 72467, USA
Interests: plant cell culture; plant biotechnology; hairy roots; transgenic plants; recombinant proteins; plant cell wall; glycosylation; biofuels; biochemical engineering
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Dear Colleagues,

Plants naturally produce a diverse range of bioactive small molecules, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, and phenolic compounds, which are widely utilized as pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Plants can also be genetically engineered to produce valuable recombinant proteins (biologics) for therapeutic and industrial applications, such as cytokines, blood proteins, antibodies, vaccines, and industrial enzymes. The driving forces behind the rapid growth of plant-based biofactories include their low production cost, product safety, and easy scale-up process. Both whole plants and in vitro cultured plant tissues or cells can serve as a viable bioproduction platform. In the past two decades, new strategies that harness metabolic engineering, glycoengineering, and genomic editing have been developed to improve plant production systems, with the aim of achieving commercially significant production. However, major technical challenges, particularly these systems’ low product yields, remain to be overcome.

This Special Issue of Life aims to provide a broad spectrum of reviews and original research contributions that report new strategies and approaches to enhancing the bioproduction of plant biofactories as well as novel functions and applications of plant-produced bioactive compounds. In addition to papers focusing on higher plants, those on microalgae and moss production systems are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Jianfeng Xu
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • plant cell culture
  • plant tissue culture
  • medicinal plants
  • secondary metabolites
  • bioactive compounds
  • nutraceuticals
  • recombinant proteins
  • biologics

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Published Papers (18 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 196 KiB  
Editorial
Harnessing the Power of Plants: A Green Factory for Bioactive Compounds
by Jianfeng Xu
Life 2023, 13(10), 2041; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13102041 - 11 Oct 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
The plant kingdom has long been revered for its complex biochemical pathways, which give rise to an incredible array of bioactive compounds [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

13 pages, 1677 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Composition, Bioactive Compounds, and Antioxidant Properties of Different Parts of Andrographis macrobotrys Nees
by Dayanand Dalawai, Hosakatte Niranjana Murthy, Yaser Hassan Dewir, Joseph Kadanthottu Sebastian and Anish Nag
Life 2023, 13(5), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051166 - 11 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1542
Abstract
Andrographis macrobotrys Nees is an ethnomedicinal plant belonging to the family Acanthaceae, distributed in the moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests of the southern Western Ghats of India. The objective of this research was to determine the phytochemical composition and bioactive chemical components using [...] Read more.
Andrographis macrobotrys Nees is an ethnomedicinal plant belonging to the family Acanthaceae, distributed in the moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests of the southern Western Ghats of India. The objective of this research was to determine the phytochemical composition and bioactive chemical components using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and to check the antioxidant potential of the plant part extracts. A. macrobotrys roots, stems, and leaves were obtained from the species’ natural habitat in the Western Ghats, India. The bioactive compounds were extracted using a Soxhlet extractor at 55–60 °C for 8 h in methanol. Identification analysis of A. macrobotrys bioactive compound was performed using GC-MS. Quantitative estimation of phytochemicals was carried out, and the antioxidant capacity of the plant extracts was determined by 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging (DPPH) and ferric reducing assays (FRAP). A. macrobotrys has a higher concentration of phenolics in its stem extract than in its root or leaf extracts (124.28 mg and 73.01 mg, respectively), according to spectrophotometric measurements. GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of phytochemicals such as azulene, 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol, benzoic acid, 4-ethoxy-ethyl ester, eicosane, 3-heptadecanol, isopropyl myristate, hexadecanoic acid methyl ester, hexadecanoic acid, 1-butyl-cyclohexanol, 9,12-octadecadienoic acid, alpha-monostearin, and 5-hydroxy-7,8-dimethoxyflavone belonging to various classes of flavonoids, terpenoids, phenolics, fatty acids, and aromatic compounds. Significant bioactive phytochemicals include 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol, 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol, 5-hydroxy-7,8-dimethoxyflavone, azulene, salvigenin, squalene, and tetrapentacontane. In addition, the antioxidant capability of each of the three extracts was assessed. The stem extract demonstrated impressive DPPH scavenging and ferric reduction activities, with EC50 values of 79 mg/mL and 0.537 ± 0.02 OD at 0.2 mg/mL, respectively. The results demonstrated the importance of A. macrobotrys as a source of medicine and antioxidants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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14 pages, 546 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Biological Activity and Lymphoma Cell Growth Inhibition by Selected Mexican Medicinal Plants
by Nancy E. Rodríguez-Garza, Ramiro Quintanilla-Licea, César I. Romo-Sáenz, Joel H. Elizondo-Luevano, Patricia Tamez-Guerra, Cristina Rodríguez-Padilla and Ricardo Gomez-Flores
Life 2023, 13(4), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13040958 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Cancer is a major health problem with significant morbidity and mortality. In addition, plants are a source of metabolites with diverse biological properties, including antitumor potential. In this study, we investigated the in vitro murine lymphoma L5178Y-R cell growth inhibition, human peripheral blood [...] Read more.
Cancer is a major health problem with significant morbidity and mortality. In addition, plants are a source of metabolites with diverse biological properties, including antitumor potential. In this study, we investigated the in vitro murine lymphoma L5178Y-R cell growth inhibition, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) toxicity and proliferation, and antioxidant, hemolytic, and anti-hemolytic activities of methanol extracts from 15 plants of traditional use in Mexico. Justicia spicigera caused the highest tumor cell growth inhibition with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 29.10 µg/mL and a selectivity index >34.36 compared with those of PBMC, whereas Mimosa tenuiflora showed the highest lymphoproliferative activity from 200 µg/mL compared with that induced by concanavalin A. In addition, M. tenuiflora showed an antioxidant effect (IC50 = 2.86 µg/mL) higher than that of ascorbic acid. Regarding the hemolytic and anti-hemolytic activity, all extracts presented significant anti-hemolytic activity. The extract of J. spicigera is emerging as a possible source of effective antineoplastic compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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27 pages, 2111 KiB  
Article
Determination of Antioxidant, Anti-Alzheimer, Antidiabetic, Antiglaucoma and Antimicrobial Effects of Zivzik Pomegranate (Punica granatum)—A Chemical Profiling by LC-MS/MS
by Hasan Karagecili, Ebubekir İzol, Ekrem Kirecci and İlhami Gulcin
Life 2023, 13(3), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030735 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 3461
Abstract
Zivzik pomegranate (Punica granatum) has recently sparked considerable interest due to its nutritional and antioxidant properties. To evaluate the antioxidant capacities of P. granatum juice, ethanol (EEZP), and water (WEZP) extracts from peel and seed, the antioxidant methods of 2,2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid [...] Read more.
Zivzik pomegranate (Punica granatum) has recently sparked considerable interest due to its nutritional and antioxidant properties. To evaluate the antioxidant capacities of P. granatum juice, ethanol (EEZP), and water (WEZP) extracts from peel and seed, the antioxidant methods of 2,2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid radical (ABTS•+) scavenging, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical (DPPH) scavenging, Fe3+-2,4,6-tris(2-pyridyl)-S-triazine (TPTZ) reducing, Fe3+ reducing, and Cu2+ reducing methods were used. The antioxidant capacities of samples were compared with the most commonly used synthetic antioxidants, i.e., BHA, BHT, α-tocopherol, and Trolox. In terms of setting an example, the IC50 values of EEZP for ABTS•+ and DPPH scavenging activities were found to be lower than standards, at 5.9 and 16.1 μg/mL, respectively. The phenolic and flavonoid contents in EEZP peel were 59.7 mg GAE/g and 88.0 mg QE/g, respectively. Inhibition of α-glycosidase, α-amylase, acetylcholinesterase, and human carbonic anhydrase II (hCA II) enzymes was also investigated. EEZP demonstrated IC50 values of 7.3 μg/mL against α-glycosidase, 317.7 μg/mL against α-amylase, 19.7 μg/mL against acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and 106.3 μg/mL against CA II enzymes. A total of 53 phenolic compounds were scanned, and 30 compounds were determined using LC-MS/MS. E. coli and S. aureus bacteria were resistant to all four antibiotics used as standards in hospitals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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12 pages, 2118 KiB  
Article
Recovery of Aconitic Acid from Sweet Sorghum Plant Extract Using a Solvent Mixture, and Its Potential Use as a Nematicide
by K. Thomas Klasson, Yunci Qi, Gillian O. Bruni, Tristan T. Watson, Bretlyn T. Pancio and Evan Terrell
Life 2023, 13(3), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030724 - 08 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Trans-aconitic acid (TAA) is naturally present in sweet sorghum juice and syrup, and it has been promoted as a potential biocontrol agent for nematodes. Therefore, we developed a process for the extraction of aconitic acid from sweet sorghum syrup. The process economics [...] Read more.
Trans-aconitic acid (TAA) is naturally present in sweet sorghum juice and syrup, and it has been promoted as a potential biocontrol agent for nematodes. Therefore, we developed a process for the extraction of aconitic acid from sweet sorghum syrup. The process economics were evaluated, and the extract was tested for its capability to suppress the motility of the nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans and Meloidogyne incognita. Aconitic acid could be efficiently extracted from sweet sorghum syrup using acetone:butanol:ethanol mixtures, and it could be recovered from this solvent with a sodium carbonate solution, with an overall extraction and recovery efficiency of 86%. The estimated production cost was USD 16.64/kg of extract and this was highly dependent on the solvent cost, as the solvent was not recycled but was resold for recovery at a fraction of the cost. The extract was effective in reducing the motility of the parasitic M. incognita and causing over 78% mortality of the nematode when 2 mg/mL of TAA extract was added. However, this positive result could not conclusively be linked solely to TAA. An unidentified component (or components) in the acetone:butanol:ethanol sweet sorghum extract appears to be an effective nematode inhibitor, and it may merit further investigation. The impact of aconitic acid on C. elegans appeared to be entirely controlled by pH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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12 pages, 1369 KiB  
Article
Phenolic and Antioxidant Compound Accumulation of Quercus robur Bark Diverges Based on Tree Genotype, Phenology and Extraction Method
by Vaida Sirgedaitė-Šėžienė, Ieva Čėsnienė, Gabija Leleikaitė, Virgilijus Baliuckas and Dorotėja Vaitiekūnaitė
Life 2023, 13(3), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030710 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
Oak bark is a rich niche for beneficial bioactive compounds. It is known that the amount of the compounds found in plant tissues can depend on species, genotype, growth site, etc., but it is unclear whether oak phenology, i.e., late or early bud [...] Read more.
Oak bark is a rich niche for beneficial bioactive compounds. It is known that the amount of the compounds found in plant tissues can depend on species, genotype, growth site, etc., but it is unclear whether oak phenology, i.e., late or early bud burst, can also influence the amount of phenols and antioxidants that can be extracted. We tested two Quercus robur populations expressing different phenology and five half-sib families in each population to see how phenology, genotype, as well as extrahent differences (75% methanol or water) can determine the total phenol, total flavonoid content, as well as antioxidant activity. Significant statistical differences were found between half-sib families of the same population, between populations representing different oak phenology and different extrahents used. We determined that the extraction of flavonoids was more favorable when using water. So was antioxidant activity using one of the indicators, when significant differences between extrahents were observed. Furthermore, in families where there was a significant difference, phenols showed better results when using methanol. Overall, late bud burst families exhibited higher levels in all parameters tested. Thus, we recommend that for further bioactive compound extraction, all these factors be noted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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17 pages, 3317 KiB  
Article
Addition of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Enhances Terpene Synthase Expression in Salvia rosmarinus Cultivars
by Emily Leggatt, Alistair Griffiths, Simon Budge, Anthony D. Stead, Alan C. Gange and Paul F. Devlin
Life 2023, 13(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020315 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1936
Abstract
Culinary herbs are commercially cultivated for their wide range of volatile compounds that give characteristic aromas and tastes. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus Spenn.) is an excellent model for assessment of methods improvement of volatile production as cultivars offer a wide variety of aromatic [...] Read more.
Culinary herbs are commercially cultivated for their wide range of volatile compounds that give characteristic aromas and tastes. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus Spenn.) is an excellent model for assessment of methods improvement of volatile production as cultivars offer a wide variety of aromatic profiles due to the large family of terpene synthase genes. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associations have been shown to improve essential oil production in aromatic plants and offer one approach to enhance aroma in commercial herb production. Changes in the expression of seven different terpene synthases were compared in six rosemary cultivars in response to addition of AMF to a peat substrate. Addition of AMF profoundly influenced terpene synthase expression in all cultivars and did so without impacting the optimised plant size and uniformity achieved in these conditions. In addition, two methods for AMF application, developed with the horticultural industry in mind, were tested in this study. Uniform incorporation of AMF mixed into the growing substrate prior to planting of a root plug produced the most consistent root colonisation. Overall, our findings demonstrate the potential for the use of AMF in the improvement of aroma in culinary herbs within a commercial setting but show that outcomes are likely to greatly vary depending on variety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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18 pages, 913 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Metabolite Profiling of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Leaf Oil Using LC-HR/MS, GC/MS, and GC-FID: Determination of Antiglaucoma, Antioxidant, Anticholinergic, and Antidiabetic Profiles
by Muzaffer Mutlu, Zeynebe Bingol, Eda Mehtap Uc, Ekrem Köksal, Ahmet C. Goren, Saleh H. Alwasel and İlhami Gulcin
Life 2023, 13(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010136 - 03 Jan 2023
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 2807
Abstract
In this study, for the first time, the antioxidant and antidiabetic properties of the essential oil from cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) leaves were evaluated and investigated using various bioanalytical methods. In addition, the inhibitory effects of cinnamon oil on carbonic anhydrase II [...] Read more.
In this study, for the first time, the antioxidant and antidiabetic properties of the essential oil from cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) leaves were evaluated and investigated using various bioanalytical methods. In addition, the inhibitory effects of cinnamon oil on carbonic anhydrase II (hCA II), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and α-amylase, which are associated with various metabolic diseases, were determined. Further, the phenolic contents of the essential oil were determined using LC-HRMS chromatography. Twenty-seven phenolic molecules were detected in cinnamon oil. Moreover, the amount and chemical profile of the essential oils present in cinnamon oil was determined using GC/MS and GC-FID analyses. (E)-cinnamaldehyde (72.98%), benzyl benzoate (4.01%), and trans-Cinnamyl acetate (3.36%) were the most common essential oils in cinnamon leaf oil. The radical scavenging activities of cinnamon oil were investigated using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazil (DPPH), 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), and (ABTS•+) bioanalytical scavenging methods, which revealed its strong radical scavenging abilities (DPPH, IC50: 4.78 μg/mL; and ABTS•+, IC50: 5.21 μg/mL). Similarly, the reducing capacities for iron (Fe3+), copper (Cu2+), and Fe3+-2,4,6-tri(2-pyridyl)-S-triazine (TPTZ) were investigated. Cinnamon oil also exhibited highly effective inhibition against hCA II (IC50: 243.24 μg/mL), AChE (IC50: 16.03 μg/mL), and α-amylase (IC50: 7.54μg/mL). This multidisciplinary study will be useful and pave the way for further studies for the determination of antioxidant properties and enzyme inhibition profiles of medically and industrially important plants and their oils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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15 pages, 3796 KiB  
Communication
Caucasian Blueberry: Comparative Study of Phenolic Compounds and Neuroprotective and Antioxidant Potential of Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium arctostaphylos Leaves
by Arnold A. Shamilov, Daniil N. Olennikov, Dmitryi I. Pozdnyakov, Valentina N. Bubenchikova, Ekaterina R. Garsiya and Mikhail V. Larskii
Life 2022, 12(12), 2079; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122079 - 11 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1451
Abstract
(1) Background: Two Caucasian blueberries Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Vaccinium arctostaphylos L. are famous berry bushes growing in the Caucasus region and used to treat neurological diseases, but the chemistry and bioactivity of leaf extracts are still poorly studied. (2) Methods: Phenolic compounds [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Two Caucasian blueberries Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Vaccinium arctostaphylos L. are famous berry bushes growing in the Caucasus region and used to treat neurological diseases, but the chemistry and bioactivity of leaf extracts are still poorly studied. (2) Methods: Phenolic compounds of V. myrtillus and V. arctostaphylos leaf extracts were profiled and quantified by HPLC–PDA–ESI–tQ–MS. The neurotropic potential of Vaccinium extracts was studied using the model of middle cerebral artery permanent occlusion to determine cerebral blood flow, the area of the brain tissue necrosis, and antioxidant enzyme activity (including superoxide dismutase, succinate dehydrogenase, and cytochrome C oxidase), as well as the concentration of TBARS. (3) Results: Hydroxycinnamates and flavonoids were identified in the leaves of V. myrtillus and V. arctostaphylos, and the dominant metabolite of both extracts was 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid in the amount of 105–226 mg/g. The studied extracts enhanced the cerebral hemodynamics and decreased the frequency of necrotic and lipooxidative processes in the brain tissue, accompanied by an increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes. The positive effect of V. arctostaphylos was stronger and exceeded the effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba standardized extract. (4) Conclusion: The leaf extracts of Caucasian blueberries V. myrtillus and V. arctostaphylos as a new source of hydroxycinnamates demonstrated a protective effect of the brain ischemia pathology and can be used as therapeutic agents to treat neurological diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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15 pages, 2406 KiB  
Article
Chemical Profiling and Molecular Docking Study of Agathophora alopecuroides
by Elham Amin, Mohamed Sadek Abdel-Bakky, Hamdoon A. Mohammed and Marwa H. A. Hassan
Life 2022, 12(11), 1852; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111852 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
Natural products continue to provide inspiring chemical moieties that represent a key stone in the drug discovery process. As per our previous research, the halophyte Agathophora alopecuroides was noted as a potential antidiabetic plant. However, the chemical profiling and highlighting the metabolite(s) responsible [...] Read more.
Natural products continue to provide inspiring chemical moieties that represent a key stone in the drug discovery process. As per our previous research, the halophyte Agathophora alopecuroides was noted as a potential antidiabetic plant. However, the chemical profiling and highlighting the metabolite(s) responsible for the observed antidiabetic activity still need to be investigated. Accordingly, the present study presents the chemical profiling of this species using the LC-HRMS/MS technique followed by a study of the ligand–protein interaction using the molecular docking method. LC-HRMS/MS results detected twenty-seven compounds in A. alopecuroides extract (AAE) belonging to variable chemical classes. Among the detected compounds, alkaloids, flavonoids, lignans, and iridoids were the most prevailing. In order to highlight the bioactive compounds in AAE, the molecular docking technique was adopted. Results suggested that the two alkaloids (Eburnamonine and Isochondrodendrine) as well as the four flavonoids (Narirutin, Pelargonidin 3-O-rutinoside, Sophora isoflavanone A, and Dracorubin) were responsible for the observed antidiabetic activity. It is worth mentioning that this is the first report for the metabolomic profiling of A. alopecuroides as well as the antidiabetic potential of Isochondrodendrine, Sophora isoflavanone A, and Dracorubin that could be a promising target for an antidiabetic drug. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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18 pages, 6097 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of LeBAHDs in Lithospermum erythrorhizon and In Vivo Transgenic Studies Confirm the Critical Roles of LeBAHD1/LeSAT1 in the Conversion of Shikonin to Acetylshikonin
by Xuan Wang, Zhuoyu He, Huan Yang, Cong He, Changyi Wang, Aliya Fazal, Xiaohui Lai, Liangjie Yang, Zhongling Wen, Minkai Yang, Shenglin Ma, Wencai Jie, Jinfeng Cai, Tongming Yin, Bao Liu, Yonghua Yang and Jinliang Qi
Life 2022, 12(11), 1775; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111775 - 03 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
The BAHD acyltransferase family is a unique class of plant proteins that acylates plant metabolites and participates in plant secondary metabolic processes. However, the BAHD members in Lithospermum erythrorhizon remain unknown and uncharacterized. Although the heterologously expressed L. erythrorhizon BAHD family member LeSAT1 [...] Read more.
The BAHD acyltransferase family is a unique class of plant proteins that acylates plant metabolites and participates in plant secondary metabolic processes. However, the BAHD members in Lithospermum erythrorhizon remain unknown and uncharacterized. Although the heterologously expressed L. erythrorhizon BAHD family member LeSAT1 in Escherichia coli has been shown to catalyze the conversion of shikonin to acetylshikonin in vitro, its in vivo role remains unknown. In this study, the characterization, evolution, expression patterns, and gene function of LeBAHDs in L. erythrorhizon were explored by bioinformatics and transgenic analysis. We totally identified 73 LeBAHDs in the reference genome of L. erythrorhizon. All LeBAHDs were phylogenetically classified into five clades likely to perform different functions, and were mainly expanded by dispersed and WGD/segmental duplication. The in vivo functional investigation of the key member LeBAHD1/LeSAT1 revealed that overexpression of LeBAHD1 in hairy roots significantly increased the content of acetylshikonin as well as the conversion rate of shikonin to acetylshikonin, whereas the CRISPR/Cas9-based knockout of LeBAHD1 in hairy roots displayed the opposite trend. Our results not only confirm the in vivo function of LeBAHD1/LeSAT1 in the biosynthesis of acetylshikonin, but also provide new insights for the biosynthetic pathway of shikonin and its derivatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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14 pages, 888 KiB  
Article
GC–MS Profiling of Naturally Extracted Essential Oils: Antimicrobial and Beverage Preservative Actions
by Reham F. El-Kased and Dina M. El-Kersh
Life 2022, 12(10), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12101587 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the antimicrobial effects of natural essential oils (EO) and determine their preservative action. Eight natural essential oils were tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans representing gram positive, gram negative, and fungi, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the antimicrobial effects of natural essential oils (EO) and determine their preservative action. Eight natural essential oils were tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans representing gram positive, gram negative, and fungi, respectively. The plant materials were used in this study viz. Thymus vulgaris—thyme (TV), Mentha virdis (MV), Mentha longifolia (ML), Rosmarinus officinalis—rosemary (RO), Lavandula dentata—lavender (LD), Origanum majorana—oregano (OM), which belong to the Lamiaceae family. The other two plants were Cymbopogon citratus—lemon grass (family Poaceae) (CC), and Eucalyptus globulus (family Myrtaceae) (EG). Employing the disc diffusion susceptibility test, minimum inhibitory and minimum bactericidal concentrations were estimated for each oil, followed by the addition of oils to pasteurized apple juice after microbial induction. The results revealed that thyme oil showed the maximum zone of inhibition against all tested microbes enriched with monoterpenes class viz. eucalyptol (24.3%), thymol (17.4%), and γ-terpinene (15.2%). All other tested oils exhibited a concentration-dependent inhibition of growth and their MIC ranged from 0.1 to 100 µL/mL. The recorded minimum bactericidal concentration values were apparently double the minimum inhibitory concentration. The EO of Mentha virdis followed by Mentha longifolia showed maximum antimicrobial activity against the tested organisms in pasteurized apple juice. A gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy (GC–MS) analysis of lemon grass, thyme, and Mentha virdis essential oils showed their enrichment with monoterpenes class recording 97.10, 97.04, and 97.61%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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15 pages, 1137 KiB  
Article
Variation in Phenolic Profile, Antioxidant, and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Salvadora oleoides Decene. and Salvadora persica L. Fruits and Aerial Part Extracts
by Arifa Khanam, Ashfaq Ahmad, Neelam Iftikhar, Qasim Ali, Tabinda Fatima, Farhan Khashim Alswailmi, Abdullah Ijaz Hussain, Sulaiman Mohammed Abdullah Alnasser and Jamshaid Akhtar
Life 2022, 12(9), 1446; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12091446 - 18 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
(1) Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of Salvadora oleoides (S. oleoides) and Salvadora persica (S. persica) polyphenols as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. (2) Methods: Aerial parts and fruits of S. oleoides and S. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of Salvadora oleoides (S. oleoides) and Salvadora persica (S. persica) polyphenols as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. (2) Methods: Aerial parts and fruits of S. oleoides and S. persica were collected from the periphery of District Bhakkar, Punjab, Pakistan. Methanol extracts were prepared using the Soxhlet extraction technique. Extract yield varied from 8.15 to 19.6 g/100 g dry plant material. RP-HPLC revealed the detection of thirteen phenolic aids and five flavonoids. Gallic acid, hydroxy benzoic acid, chlorogenic acid, and cinamic acid were the major phenolic acids, whereas catechin, rutin, and myricetin were the flavonoids detected. (3) Results: Maximum total phenolic contents (TPCs) (22.2 mg/g of dry plant material) and total flavonoid contents (TFCs) (6.17 mg/g of dry plant material) were found in the fruit extract of S. persica, and the minimum TPC (11.9 mg/g) and TFC (1.72 mg/g) were found in the aerial part of S. oleoides. The fruit extract of S. persica showed the highest DPPH radical scavenging activity. In vivo anti-inflammatory activity of all the extracts was performed on albumin-induced rat paw edema that was comparable with the standard indomethacin; S. persica fruit extract showed remarkable anti-inflammatory activity. Analgesic activity of aerial part and fruit extracts of S. oleoides and S. persica was investigated using a mouse model, and the results showed that maximum possible analgesia of fruit extracts of S. persica was 53.44%, which is better than the PC group (52.98%). (4) Conclusions: The variations in the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic activities of methanolic extracts of S. oleoides and S. persica were found to be significant, and they have therapeutic potential as antioxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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9 pages, 1006 KiB  
Article
Properties of Human Gastric Lipase Produced by Plant Roots
by François Guerineau
Life 2022, 12(8), 1249; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12081249 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
The properties of recombinant human gastric lipase produced in Arabidopsis thaliana roots have been investigated with the goal of determining the potential of the enzyme. This enzyme is stably bound to roots and can be extracted using a buffer at pH 2.2. This [...] Read more.
The properties of recombinant human gastric lipase produced in Arabidopsis thaliana roots have been investigated with the goal of determining the potential of the enzyme. This enzyme is stably bound to roots and can be extracted using a buffer at pH 2.2. This enzyme retains over 75% of its activity after two weeks at room temperature when stored in a pH 2.2 buffer. Some of this activity loss was due to the adsorption of the enzyme to the surface of the container. There was no loss of lipase activity in dehydrated roots stored at room temperature for 27 months. The half-life of the enzyme was approximately 15 min when stored in solution at 60 °C whereas dried roots retained 90% lipase activity after one hour at 80 °C. In vitro binding assays using different root cell wall extracts suggested that the lipase was bound to pectin in the roots. Lipase released from the root powder hydrolyzed tributyrin. The high stability of the recombinant human gastric lipase makes this enzyme a good candidate to be tested as a catalyst, whether in solution or bound to roots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

18 pages, 2071 KiB  
Review
Unraveling the Potential of β-D-Glucans in Poales: From Characterization to Biosynthesis and Factors Affecting the Content
by Michaela Havrlentová, Václav Dvořáček, Lucie Jurkaninová and Veronika Gregusová
Life 2023, 13(6), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061387 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
This review consolidates current knowledge on β-D-glucans in Poales and presents current findings and connections that expand our understanding of the characteristics, functions, and applications of this cell wall polysaccharide. By associating information from multiple disciplines, the review offers valuable insights for researchers, [...] Read more.
This review consolidates current knowledge on β-D-glucans in Poales and presents current findings and connections that expand our understanding of the characteristics, functions, and applications of this cell wall polysaccharide. By associating information from multiple disciplines, the review offers valuable insights for researchers, practitioners, and consumers interested in harnessing the benefits of β-D-glucans in various fields. The review can serve as a valuable resource for plant biology researchers, cereal breeders, and plant-based food producers, providing insights into the potential of β-D-glucans and opening new avenues for future research and innovation in the field of this bioactive and functional ingredient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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26 pages, 2283 KiB  
Review
Plants as Biofactories for Therapeutic Proteins and Antiviral Compounds to Combat COVID-19
by Corbin England, Jonathan TrejoMartinez, Paula PerezSanchez, Uddhab Karki and Jianfeng Xu
Life 2023, 13(3), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030617 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3790
Abstract
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) had a profound impact on the world’s health and economy. Although the end of the pandemic may come in 2023, it is generally believed that the virus [...] Read more.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) had a profound impact on the world’s health and economy. Although the end of the pandemic may come in 2023, it is generally believed that the virus will not be completely eradicated. Most likely, the disease will become an endemicity. The rapid development of vaccines of different types (mRNA, subunit protein, inactivated virus, etc.) and some other antiviral drugs (Remdesivir, Olumiant, Paxlovid, etc.) has provided effectiveness in reducing COVID-19’s impact worldwide. However, the circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus has been constantly mutating with the emergence of multiple variants, which makes control of COVID-19 difficult. There is still a pressing need for developing more effective antiviral drugs to fight against the disease. Plants have provided a promising production platform for both bioactive chemical compounds (small molecules) and recombinant therapeutics (big molecules). Plants naturally produce a diverse range of bioactive compounds as secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, terpenoids/terpenes and polyphenols, which are a rich source of countless antiviral compounds. Plants can also be genetically engineered to produce valuable recombinant therapeutics. This molecular farming in plants has an unprecedented opportunity for developing vaccines, antibodies, and other biologics for pandemic diseases because of its potential advantages, such as low cost, safety, and high production volume. This review summarizes the latest advancements in plant-derived drugs used to combat COVID-19 and discusses the prospects and challenges of the plant-based production platform for antiviral agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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21 pages, 2685 KiB  
Review
Naringin and Naringenin Polyphenols in Neurological Diseases: Understandings from a Therapeutic Viewpoint
by Talha Bin Emran, Fahadul Islam, Nikhil Nath, Hriday Sutradhar, Rajib Das, Saikat Mitra, Mohammed Merae Alshahrani, Abdulaziz Hassan Alhasaniah and Rohit Sharma
Life 2023, 13(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010099 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2695
Abstract
The glycosides of two flavonoids, naringin and naringenin, are found in various citrus fruits, bergamots, tomatoes, and other fruits. These phytochemicals are associated with multiple biological functions, including neuroprotective, antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiadipogenic, and cardioprotective effects. The higher glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratio [...] Read more.
The glycosides of two flavonoids, naringin and naringenin, are found in various citrus fruits, bergamots, tomatoes, and other fruits. These phytochemicals are associated with multiple biological functions, including neuroprotective, antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiadipogenic, and cardioprotective effects. The higher glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratio in 3-NP-induced rats is attributed to the ability of naringin to reduce hydroxyl radical, hydroperoxide, and nitrite. However, although progress has been made in treating these diseases, there are still global concerns about how to obtain a solution. Thus, natural compounds can provide a promising strategy for treating many neurological conditions. Possible therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders include naringin and naringenin polyphenols. New experimental evidence shows that these polyphenols exert a wide range of pharmacological activity; particular attention was paid to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as other neurological conditions such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and chronic hyperglycemic peripheral neuropathy. Several preliminary investigations have shown promising evidence of neuroprotection. The main objective of this review was to reflect on developments in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of naringin and naringenin as potential neuroprotective medications. Furthermore, the configuration relationships between naringin and naringenin are discussed, as well as their plant sources and extraction methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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15 pages, 557 KiB  
Review
Applications and Pharmacological Properties of Cactus Pear (Opuntia spp.) Peel: A Review
by Salvador Manzur-Valdespino, José Arias-Rico, Esther Ramírez-Moreno, María de Cortes Sánchez-Mata, Osmar Antonio Jaramillo-Morales, Julieta Angel-García, Quinatzin Yadira Zafra-Rojas, Rosario Barrera-Gálvez and Nelly del Socorro Cruz-Cansino
Life 2022, 12(11), 1903; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111903 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
Nowadays, there is a growing interest in the exploitation of by-products from fruits and vegetables, generated from industrial processing or human feeding. Residues of popularly consumed fruits such as orange, lemon, banana, pomegranate, among others, have been widely described and studied; however, cactus [...] Read more.
Nowadays, there is a growing interest in the exploitation of by-products from fruits and vegetables, generated from industrial processing or human feeding. Residues of popularly consumed fruits such as orange, lemon, banana, pomegranate, among others, have been widely described and studied; however, cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) residues, as a locally consumed product, have been forgotten. The whole fruit can be divided into the edible portion (pulp) and the non-edible portion (seeds and peel). Several studies mainly focus on the characteristics of the edible portion or in the whole fruit, ignoring by-products such as peels, which are rich in compounds such as phenols, flavonoids and dietary fiber; they have also been proposed as an alternative source of lipids, carbohydrates and natural colorants. Some uses of the peel have been reported as a food additives, food supplements, as a source of pectins and for wastewater treatment; however, there have not been any deep investigations of the characteristics and potential uses of the cactus pear peel (CPP). The aim of the present paper is to provide an overview of the current research on CPP. CPP has many bio-active compounds that may provide health benefits and may also be useful in pharmaceutical, food and manufacturing industries; however, greater research is needed in order to gain thorough knowledge of the possibilities of this by-product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants as a Promising Biofactory for Bioactive Compounds)
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