Specialized Metabolites of Plants—Evaluation of Functional and Biological Value

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2023) | Viewed by 56364

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska Cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: bioactive compounds; phytochemicals; antioxidant properties; green extraction methods; by-products recovery
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Guest Editor
Department of Vegetable Crops, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: the influence of ecological and anthropological factors on the yield and quality of drugs of medicinal and aromatic plants; introduction of protected medicinal plant species into agricultural production; organic cultivation of vegetables and medicinal and aromatic plants
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Pomology, Svetošimunska Cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: morphological characterization of fruit trees; pomological and physico-chemical properties of fruit, analysis and quality of fruits; oxidative stress and anatomy of fruits; collection and preservation of traditional cultivars of fruit species; ornamental value of fruit species
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For centuries, people used food solely for survival and as a source of energy, but the discovery and definition of nutritionally significant food compounds or bioactive compounds have clarified and demonstrated numerous health aspects of food. The healthy diet is gaining an increasing amount of attention, with the main aim of improving the overall quality of life and health prospects. The introduction of nutrient-rich foods has shown a number of positive effects on human health, especially by preventing many diseases of modern mankind, particularly neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.

For this reason, there is a growing interest in foods of natural origin with a high percentage of foods of plant origin. This trend has also increased the growing interest in the scientific study of specific specialized metabolites of plants (phytonutrients), especially from fruits, vegetables, and aromatic and medicinal herbs, as well as some new food sources that are mostly neglected or still insufficiently studied, such as invasive plant species. The role of specialized metabolites or bioactive compounds in biosystems such as plant cells is their antioxidant activity; that is, they inhibit oxidation processes due to their ability to neutralize free radicals.

Due to increasingly pronounced climate change, global warming, drought and extreme weather events, plants have adapted to various stress factors (biotic, abiotic and anthropogenic) and have developed numerous protective mechanisms, i.e., responses to them, in order to survive. Introducing sustainable agricultural practices in the cultivation of fruits, vegetables, and aromatic and medicinal herbs could also be an effective tool in the production of healthy, nutritious foods of significant biological and functional potential.

Given the great interest in plant species characterized by high levels of specialized metabolites, which represent a new challenge for modern agriculture and the search for new food sources, this Special issue will cover a variety of areas, from cultivation practices to new plant sources with high levels of phytochemicals, with the aim of contributing to the general knowledge on the specialized metabolites of plants.

Dr. Jana Šic Žlabur
Dr. Sanja Radman
Prof. Dr. Martina Skendrović Babojelić
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • phytochemicals
  • bioactive compounds
  • stress conditions
  • modern cultivation techniques
  • organic agriculture
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • medicinal and aromatic plants
  • medicinal mushrooms

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Published Papers (24 papers)

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12 pages, 322 KiB  
Article
Alfalfa, Cabbage, Beet and Fennel Microgreens in Floating Hydroponics—Perspective Nutritious Food?
by Sanja Fabek Uher, Sanja Radman, Nevena Opačić, Mia Dujmović, Božidar Benko, Denis Lagundžija, Valent Mijić, Lucija Prša, Srđan Babac and Jana Šic Žlabur
Plants 2023, 12(11), 2098; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12112098 - 25 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1867
Abstract
Microgreens are young plants of various vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants, cereals and edible wild plants that were first associated with nouvelle cuisine as decoration in dishes due to their attractive appearance and strong flavor. Recently, they have become more sought after in [...] Read more.
Microgreens are young plants of various vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants, cereals and edible wild plants that were first associated with nouvelle cuisine as decoration in dishes due to their attractive appearance and strong flavor. Recently, they have become more sought after in the market due to their high nutritional value. This is due to the growing interest of consumers in a healthy lifestyle that includes a varied diet with emphasis on fresh, functional foods. Nowadays, commercial production of microgreens is shifting to modern hydroponic systems due to their numerous advantages, such as accelerated plant growth and biomass production, earlier harvesting, and more production cycles that positively affect yield and chemical composition. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the content of specialized metabolites and antioxidant capacity of hydroponically grown alfalfa (Medicago sativa) cv. ‘Kangaroo’, yellow beet (Beta vulgaris var. conditiva) cv. ‘Yellow Lady’, red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. rubra) cv. ‘Red Carpet’, and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) cv. ‘Aganarpo’ microgreens. The highest content of total phenols (408.03 mg GAE/100 g fw), flavonoids (214.47 mg GAE/100 g fw), non-flavonoids (193.56 mg GAE/100 g fw) and ascorbic acid (74.94 mg/100 g fw) was found in fennel microgreens. The highest content of all analyzed chlorophyll pigments (Chl_a 0.536 mg/g fw, Chl_b 0.248 mg/g fw, and TCh 0.785 mg/g fw) was found in alfalfa microgreens. However, in addition to alfalfa, high levels of chlorophyll a (0.528 mg/g fw), total chlorophyll (0.713 mg/g fw) and the highest level of total carotenoids (0.196 mg/g fw) were also detected in fennel microgreens. The results suggest that microgreens grown on perlite in floating hydroponics have high nutritional potential as a functional food important for human health and therefore could be recommended for daily diet. Full article
32 pages, 4087 KiB  
Article
Cytotoxic and Antibacterial Prenylated Acylphloroglucinols from Hypericum olympicum L.
by Yana Ilieva, Georgi Momekov, Maya Margaritova Zaharieva, Teodor Marinov, Zlatina Kokanova-Nedialkova, Hristo Najdenski and Paraskev T. Nedialkov
Plants 2023, 12(7), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12071500 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2370
Abstract
Two new bicyclo[3.3.1]nonane type bicyclic polyprenylated acylphloroglucinol derivatives (BPAPs), olympiforin A and B as well as three known prenylated phloroglucinols, were isolated from the aerial parts of Hypericum olympicum L. The structures of the isolated compounds were established by means of spectral techniques (HRESIMS [...] Read more.
Two new bicyclo[3.3.1]nonane type bicyclic polyprenylated acylphloroglucinol derivatives (BPAPs), olympiforin A and B as well as three known prenylated phloroglucinols, were isolated from the aerial parts of Hypericum olympicum L. The structures of the isolated compounds were established by means of spectral techniques (HRESIMS and 1D and 2D NMR). All compounds were tested on a panel of human tumor (MDA-MB-231, EJ, K-562, HL-60 and HL-60/DOX) and non- tumorigenic (HEK-293 and EA.hy926) cell lines using the MTT assay. All tested compounds exerted significant in vitro cytotoxicity with IC50 values ranging from 1.2 to 24.9 μM and from 0.9 to 34 μM on tumor and non-cancerous cell lines, respectively. Most of the compounds had good selectivity and were more cytotoxic to the tumor cell lines than to the normal ones. A degradation of the precursor caspase 9 for some of the compounds was observed; therefore, the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis is the most likely mechanism of cytotoxic activity. The BPAPs were examined for antibacterial and antibiofilm activity through the broth microdilution method and the protocol of Stepanović. They showed a moderate effect against Enterococcus faecalis and Streptococcus pyogenes but a very profound activity against Staphylococcus aureus with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) in the range of 0.78–2 mg/L. Olympiforin B also had a great effect against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) with an MIC value of 1 mg/L and a very significant antibiofilm activity on that strain with a minimum biofilm inhibition concentration (MBIC) value of 0.5 mg/L. The structures of the isolated compounds were in silico evaluated using ADME and drug likeness tests. Full article
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11 pages, 751 KiB  
Article
Quali–Quantitative Fingerprinting of the Fruit Extract of Uapaca bojeri Bail. (Euphorbiaceae) and Its Antioxidant, Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antihyperglycemic Effects: An Example of Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in Madagascar
by Finiavana Mihary Valisoa Rakotonirina, Dario Donno, Zoarilala Rinah Razafindrakoto, Nantenaina Tombozara, Roger Marie Rafanomezantsoa, Charles Andrianjara, David Ramanitrahasimbola and Gabriele Loris Beccaro
Plants 2023, 12(3), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12030475 - 19 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1209
Abstract
Antioxidants are important supplements for the human body for their roles in human life for the maintenance of homeostasis. Tapia fruits (Uapaca bojeri) are used by the riverain population of the Tapia forests in Madagascar as complementary foods. This study aims [...] Read more.
Antioxidants are important supplements for the human body for their roles in human life for the maintenance of homeostasis. Tapia fruits (Uapaca bojeri) are used by the riverain population of the Tapia forests in Madagascar as complementary foods. This study aims to quantify the main antioxidants in the U. bojeri fruits to verify their contribution to the enhancement of their anti-inflammatory and antihyperglycemic effects. Standard phytochemical screening was used for qualitative analysis, while spectrophotometric (TPC, TAC, and TFC) and chromatographic analyses (HPLC) were used to quantify several phytochemicals in U. bojeri fruits. The antioxidant activity was evaluated using DPPH and FRAP assays. The writhing test was used for the analgesic effects, the carrageenan-induced paw edema was used for the anti-inflammatory activity, and OGTT was used to test the anti-hyperglycemia property of the MEUB in mice. Several phytocompounds were detected and quantified in the fruits, including succinic acid (67.73%) as the main quantified compound. Fruits exerted a good antioxidant capacity and showed analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antihyperglycemic activities in mice. Isolation of the bioactive compounds should be carried out to confirm these pharmacological properties and develop health-promoting food products or medicinal applications derived from this species. Full article
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19 pages, 3157 KiB  
Article
Extracts from Chlorella vulgaris Protect Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Oxidative Stress Induced by Hydrogen Peroxide
by Maria G. Savvidou, Ioulia Georgiopoulou, Nasia Antoniou, Soultana Tzima, Maria Kontou, Vasiliki Louli, Chronis Fatouros, Kostis Magoulas and Fragiskos N. Kolisis
Plants 2023, 12(2), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12020361 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2450
Abstract
Microalgae as unicellular eukaryotic organisms demonstrate several advantages for biotechnological and biological applications. Natural derived microalgae products demand has increased in food, cosmetic and nutraceutical applications lately. The natural antioxidants have been used for attenuation of mitochondrial cell damage caused by oxidative stress. [...] Read more.
Microalgae as unicellular eukaryotic organisms demonstrate several advantages for biotechnological and biological applications. Natural derived microalgae products demand has increased in food, cosmetic and nutraceutical applications lately. The natural antioxidants have been used for attenuation of mitochondrial cell damage caused by oxidative stress. This study evaluates the in vitro protective effect of Chlorella vulgaris bioactive extracts against oxidative stress in human mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs). The classical solid-liquid and the supercritical extraction, using biomass of commercially available and laboratory cultivated C. vulgaris, are employed. Oxidative stress induced by 300 μM H2O2 reduces cell viability of MSCs. The addition of C. vulgaris extracts, with increased protein content compared to carbohydrates, to H2O2 treated MSCs counteracted the oxidative stress, reducing reactive oxygen species levels without affecting MSC proliferation. The supercritical extraction was the most efficient extraction method for carotenoids resulting in enhanced antioxidant activity. Pre-treatment of MSCs with C. vulgaris extracts mitigates the oxidative damage ensued by H2O2. Initial proteomic analysis of secretome from licensed (TNFα-activated) MSCs treated with algal extracts reveals a signature of differentially regulated proteins that fall into clinically relevant pathways such as inflammatory signaling. The enhanced antioxidative and possibly anti-inflammatory capacity could be explored in the context of future cell therapies. Full article
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16 pages, 3130 KiB  
Article
Isolation and Characterization of Flavonoid Naringenin and Evaluation of Cytotoxic and Biological Efficacy of Water Lilly (Nymphaea mexicana Zucc.)
by Shajrath Din, Saima Hamid, Aadil Yaseen, Ali Mohd Yatoo, Shafat Ali, Kashif Shamim, Wael A. Mahdi, Sultan Alshehri, Muneeb U. Rehman and Wajaht A. Shah
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3588; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243588 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2258
Abstract
Despite its limited exploration, Nymphaea mexicana Zucc. can be beneficial if pharmacology, isolation, and biological evaluation are given attention. It is an aquatic species that belongs to the family Nymphaeaceae. The thrust area of the work was the extraction, isolation, and biological evaluation [...] Read more.
Despite its limited exploration, Nymphaea mexicana Zucc. can be beneficial if pharmacology, isolation, and biological evaluation are given attention. It is an aquatic species that belongs to the family Nymphaeaceae. The thrust area of the work was the extraction, isolation, and biological evaluation of different extracts of the N. mexicana Zucc. plant. The primary goal of this research was to assess the antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities of the extracts and to isolate the target naringenin compound. Comparative FT IR analysis of different extracts of this plant revealed the presence of functional groups of plant secondary metabolites, including polyphenols, flavonoids, terpenoids, esters, amines, glycosides, alkanes, alkaloids, fatty acids, and alcohols. Moderate free radical scavenging potential has been achieved for the various extracts via reducing power and DPPH assays. While cytotoxic activity was evaluated by colorimetric and lactate dehydrogenase cell viability tests on potent cancer cell lines. Lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells (A-549), and breast cells (MC-7) were treated with MeOH extract. The antimicrobial activity against bacterial strains was evaluated using Gram-positive and -negative cultures, where maximum and minimum inhibition zones were recorded for different strains, including 1.6–25.6 μg/mL for Streptococcus aureus, using the agar well diffusion method. In addition, the anti-inflammatory activity of different extracts of N. mexicana Zucc. was evaluated in a nitrite radical scavenging assay with high concentrations of secondary metabolites, which are important against human pathogens and other diseases. Full article
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16 pages, 1882 KiB  
Article
Identification and Quantification of Polyphenols in Croatian Traditional Apple Varieties
by Ana-Marija Gotal Skoko, Bojan Šarkanj, Marta Lores, Maria Celeiro, Martina Skendrović Babojelić, Dragutin Kamenjak, Ivana Flanjak, Antun Jozinović, Tihomir Kovač and Ante Lončarić
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3540; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243540 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1338
Abstract
Apples and apple-based products are particularly interesting due to being a good source of polyphenols in an everyday diet. Recently there has been increased interest in the preservation of traditional apple varieties due to studies that suggest that traditional apple varieties have a [...] Read more.
Apples and apple-based products are particularly interesting due to being a good source of polyphenols in an everyday diet. Recently there has been increased interest in the preservation of traditional apple varieties due to studies that suggest that traditional apple varieties have a higher content of polyphenols and antioxidant activity compared to commercial varieties. This study shows that traditional apple varieties contain higher concentration of polyphenolic compounds than conventional ones, such as chlorogenic acid (1.29–456 mg/kg dw), catechin (0.70–312 mg/kg dw), epicatechin (1.75–244 mg/kg dw), procyanidin B1 + B2 (4.08–358 mg/kg dw) and quercetin-3-glucoside (0.96–231 mg/kg dw). This research underlies the great potential of traditional apple varieties as a source of natural antioxidants and polyphenolics. Full article
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17 pages, 4127 KiB  
Article
Steroidal Saponins with Plant Growth Stimulation Effects; Yucca schidigera as a Commercial Source
by Alexandra G. Durán, Juan M. Calle, Davinia Butrón, Andy J. Pérez, Francisco A. Macías and Ana M. Simonet
Plants 2022, 11(23), 3378; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11233378 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2142
Abstract
Plant growth-stimulation bioactivity of triterpenoid saponins is well known, especially for oleanane-type compounds. Nevertheless, a few phytotoxicity bioassays performed on some steroidal saponins have shown hormesis profiles and growth stimulation on Lactuca sativa roots. The focus of the work described here was on [...] Read more.
Plant growth-stimulation bioactivity of triterpenoid saponins is well known, especially for oleanane-type compounds. Nevertheless, a few phytotoxicity bioassays performed on some steroidal saponins have shown hormesis profiles and growth stimulation on Lactuca sativa roots. The focus of the work described here was on the use of the wheat coleoptile bioassay to evaluate plant growth stimulation, and on the search for a commercially available source of active saponins by bio-guided fractionation strategy. Selected saponins were tested and a cluster analysis showed that those saponins with a sugar chain of more than five units had a hormesis profile, while saponins with growth enhancement had fewer sugar residues. Two saponins showed similar activity to the positive control, namely the phytohormone indole-3-butyric acid (IBA). As a potential source of these metabolites, a commercial extract of Yucca schidigera used as a fertilizer was selected. Bio-guided fractionation led to the identification of two fractions of defined composition and these showed stimulation values similar to the positive control. It was observed that the presence of a carbonyl group at C-12 on the aglycone skeleton led to improved activity. A saponin-rich fraction from Y. schidigera could be proposed to enhance crop quality and production. Full article
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19 pages, 2336 KiB  
Article
Energy vs. Nutritional Potential of Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita L.) and Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.)
by Jona Šurić, Jana Šic Žlabur, Anamarija Peter, Ivan Brandić, Sandra Voća, Mia Dujmović, Josip Leto and Neven Voća
Plants 2022, 11(21), 2906; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11212906 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
The world today faces several pressing challenges: energy from non-renewable sources is becoming increasingly expensive, while at the same time the use of agricultural land for food production is decreasing at the expense of biofuel production. Energy crops offer a potential solution to [...] Read more.
The world today faces several pressing challenges: energy from non-renewable sources is becoming increasingly expensive, while at the same time the use of agricultural land for food production is decreasing at the expense of biofuel production. Energy crops offer a potential solution to maximizing the use of land. In order to provide new value to the by-product, it is necessary to investigate its possible nutritional and functional potential. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to determine the energetic, nutritional, and functional potential of the species Sida hermaphrodita L. and Silphium perfoliatum L. in different phenophases. The analyzed energy potential of the mentioned species is not negligible due to the high determined calorific value (17.36 MJ/kg for Virginia mallow and 15.46 MJ/kg for the cup plant), high coke content (15.49% for the cup plant and 10.45% for Virginia mallow), and desirably high carbon content, almost 45%, in both species. The phenophase of the plant had a significant influence on the content of the analyzed specialized metabolites (SM) in the leaves, with a high content of ascorbic acid at the full-flowering stage in Virginia mallow (229.79 mg/100 g fw) and in cup plants at the end of flowering (122.57 mg/100 g fw). In addition, both species have high content of polyphenols: as much as 1079.59 mg GAE/100 g were determined in the leaves of Virginia mallow at the pre-flowering stage and 1115.21 mg GAE/100 g fw in the cup plants at the full-flowering stage. An HPLC analysis showed high levels of ellagic acid and naringin in both species. In addition, both species have high total chlorophyll and carotenoid concentrations. Due to their high content of SM, both species are characterized by a high antioxidant capacity. It can be concluded that, in addition to their energetic importance, these two plants are also an important source of bioactive compounds; thus, their nutritional and functional potential for further use as value-added by-products should not be neglected. Full article
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18 pages, 6613 KiB  
Article
Bio-Fabrication of Euryale ferox (Makhana) Leaf Silver Nanoparticles and Their Antibacterial, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Potential
by Nisha Devi, Kanika Rani, Pushpa Kharb and Prashant Kaushik
Plants 2022, 11(20), 2766; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11202766 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1552
Abstract
Bio-fabrication of green or plant extract-based silver nanoparticles has garnered much praise over the past decade as the methodology is environment-friendly, undemanding, non-pathogenic, and economical. In the current study, leaves of Eurale ferox (Makhana), considered as waste, were used for the bio-fabrication of [...] Read more.
Bio-fabrication of green or plant extract-based silver nanoparticles has garnered much praise over the past decade as the methodology is environment-friendly, undemanding, non-pathogenic, and economical. In the current study, leaves of Eurale ferox (Makhana), considered as waste, were used for the bio-fabrication of silver nanoparticles (ELAgNPs). Various analytical techniques including UV–VIS spectroscopy, Field emission scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (FESEM-EDX), Particle size analyzer (PSA), Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) were used for their characterization. Their antibacterial efficacy was examined against gram positive bacterium, Bacillus subtilis and gram negative bacterium, Escherichia coli. The antioxidant potential of the ELAgNPs was compassed by 2, 2 diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH; λmax = 517 nm) assay, H2O2max = 230 nm) and OHmax = 520 nm)-based radical scavenging assays. The cytotoxicity was checked against the VERO cell line using 3-[4, 5-dimethyl thiazol-2-yl]-2, 5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. A mean particle size of 26.51 ± 8.87 nm with a size distribution of 7.08–53.94 nm was obtained using HRTEM. The ELAgNPs exhibited dose-dependent antibacterial efficacy with a maximum zone of inhibition (ZOI) of 21.98 ± 0.59 mm against B. subtilis and of 16.46 ± 0.22 mm against E. coli at 500 ppm after 24 h of incubation. The median lethal concentration for the cytotoxicity analysis was found to be 9.54 ± 0.35 ppm, 120.9 ± 6.31 ppm, and 20.74 ± 0.63 ppm for ELAgNPs, commercial silver nanoparticles (CAgNPs), and silver nitrate (SN), respectively. The ordinary one-way ANOVA results exhibited a significant decrease in cell viability after 72 h of incubation at p < 0.05, α = 0.05. In conclusion, the ELAgNPs showed good antibacterial, radical scavenging and dose-dependent cytotoxicity against the VERO cells. Therefore, these could be used for biomedical applications. Phyto-constituents present in the plant not only act as reducing agents but also as stabilizing and coating agents, and the availability of a wide range of metabolites makes the green approach more promising. Full article
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7 pages, 817 KiB  
Communication
Essential Oil Composition and Stable Isotope Profile of Osmorhiza occidentalis Torr. (Apiaceae) from Utah
by Tyler M. Wilson, Brett J. Murphy, Emma A. Ziebarth, Ariel Poulson, Chris Packer and Richard E. Carlson
Plants 2022, 11(20), 2685; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11202685 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1673
Abstract
Osmorhiza occidentalis Torr. is an essential-oil-bearing plant in the Apiaceae family. Volatile oil was produced through steam distillation (n = 3) of the above ground plant parts and was analyzed by gas chromatography (GC/FID, GC/MS), and gas chromatography/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC/IRMS) [...] Read more.
Osmorhiza occidentalis Torr. is an essential-oil-bearing plant in the Apiaceae family. Volatile oil was produced through steam distillation (n = 3) of the above ground plant parts and was analyzed by gas chromatography (GC/FID, GC/MS), and gas chromatography/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC/IRMS) to establish the essential oil composition and stable isotope profile. The resulting essential oils were found to be comprised of 33 volatile compounds. Prominent volatile compounds include methyl chavicol (avg. 61.6%), (Z)-β-ocimene (avg. 14.7%), sabinene (avg. 10.5%), and γ-terpinene (avg. 2.8%). Stable isotope values were determined for prominent volatile compounds, including methyl chavicol, (Z)-β-ocimene, sabinene, and γ-terpinene. Values for δ2H range from −393.479 (avg. sabinene) to −171.516 (avg. methyl chavicol). Those for δ13C range from −35.957 (avg. methyl chavicol) to −30.820 (avg. (Z)-β-ocimene). The essential oil yield was 0.12% (w/w). The current study establishes for the first time, to the best knowledge of the authors, the essential oil yield, essential oil composition, and stable isotope profile of prominent volatile compounds extracted from the above-ground portions of O. occidentalis. These results provide insight into the volatile chemical composition produced by the plant and provide fundamental data for substantiation of ethnobotanical applications. Full article
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15 pages, 963 KiB  
Article
Edible Flower Species as a Promising Source of Specialized Metabolites
by Mia Dujmović, Sanja Radman, Nevena Opačić, Sanja Fabek Uher, Vida Mikuličin, Sandra Voća and Jana Šic Žlabur
Plants 2022, 11(19), 2529; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11192529 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Eating habits are changing over time and new innovative nutrient-rich foods will play a great role in the future. Awareness of the importance of a healthy diet is growing, so consumers are looking for new creative food products rich in phytochemicals, i.e., specialized [...] Read more.
Eating habits are changing over time and new innovative nutrient-rich foods will play a great role in the future. Awareness of the importance of a healthy diet is growing, so consumers are looking for new creative food products rich in phytochemicals, i.e., specialized metabolites (SM). The consumption of fruits, vegetables and aromatic species occupies an important place in the daily diet, but different edible flower species are still neglected and unexplored. Flowers are rich in SM, have strong antioxidant capacities and also possess significant functional and biological values with favorable impacts on human health. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the content of SM and the antioxidant capacities of the edible flower species: Calendula officinalis L. (common marigold), Tagetes erecta L. (African marigold), Tropaeolum majus L. (nasturtium), Cucurbita pepo L. convar. giromontiina (zucchini) and Centaurea cyanus L. (cornflower). The obtained results showed the highest content of ascorbic acid (129.70 mg/100 g fw) and anthocyanins (1012.09 mg/kg) recorded for cornflower, phenolic compounds (898.19 mg GAE/100 g fw) and carotenoids (0.58 mg/g) for African marigold and total chlorophylls (0.75 mg/g) for common marigold. In addition to the esthetic impression of the food, they represent an important source of SM and thus can have a significant impact if incorporated in the daily diet. Full article
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14 pages, 6808 KiB  
Article
Seaweed Extracts as an Effective Gateway in the Search for Novel Antibiofilm Agents against Staphylococcus aureus
by Maya Rima, Asma Chbani, Christine Roques and Fatima El Garah
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2285; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172285 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2274
Abstract
Treatment of biofilm-associated infections has become a major challenge in biomedical and clinical fields due to the failure of conventional treatments in controlling this highly complex and tolerant structure. Therefore, the search for novel antibiofilm agents with increased efficacy as those provided by [...] Read more.
Treatment of biofilm-associated infections has become a major challenge in biomedical and clinical fields due to the failure of conventional treatments in controlling this highly complex and tolerant structure. Therefore, the search for novel antibiofilm agents with increased efficacy as those provided by natural products, presents an urgent need. The aim of this study was to explore extracts derived from three algae (green Ulva lactuca, brown Stypocaulon scoparium, red Pterocladiella capillacea) for their potential antibiofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus, bacterium responsible for several acute and chronic infections. Seaweed extracts were prepared by successive maceration in various solvents (cyclohexane (CH), dichloromethane (DCM), ethyl acetate (EA), and methanol (MeOH)). The ability of the different extracts to inhibit S. aureus biofilm formation was assessed using colony-forming unit (CFU) counts method supported by epifluorescence microscopic analysis. Effects of active extracts on the biofilm growth cycle, as well as on S. aureus surface hydrophobicity were evaluated. Results revealed the ability of four extracts to significantly inhibit S. aureus biofilm formation. These findings were supported by microscopy analyses. The gradual increase in the number of adherent bacteria when the selected extracts were added at various times (t0, t2h, t4h, t6h, and t24h) revealed their potential effect on the initial adhesion and proliferation stages of S. aureus biofilm development. Interestingly, a significant reduction in the surface hydrophobicity of S. aureus treated with dichloromethane (DCM) extract derived from U. lactuca was demonstrated. These findings present new insights into the exploration of seaweeds as a valuable source of antibiofilm agents with preventive effect by inhibiting and/or delaying biofilm formation. Full article
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23 pages, 3408 KiB  
Article
Caucasian Dragonheads: Phenolic Compounds, Polysaccharides, and Bioactivity of Dracocephalum austriacum and Dracocephalum botryoides
by Nina I. Kashchenko, Gunay S. Jafarova, Javanshir I. Isaev, Daniil N. Olennikov and Nadezhda K. Chirikova
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2126; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162126 - 15 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
Dracocephalum botryoides Steven and Dracocephalum austriacum L. are unexplored species of the Dracocephalum genus (Lamiaceae family) with a distribution in the Caucasus, where they are used in folk medicine and local cuisine. There are no data on the chemical composition of these Dracocephalum [...] Read more.
Dracocephalum botryoides Steven and Dracocephalum austriacum L. are unexplored species of the Dracocephalum genus (Lamiaceae family) with a distribution in the Caucasus, where they are used in folk medicine and local cuisine. There are no data on the chemical composition of these Dracocephalum species. In this study, the application of a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry technique for the metabolite profiling of methanol extracts from herbs and roots of D. austriacum and D. botryoides resulted in the identification of 50 compounds, including benzoic acid derivatives, phenylpropanoids, flavonoids and lignans. Water-soluble polysaccharides of the herbs and roots of D. austriacum and D. botryoides were isolated and characterized as mostly pectins with additive arabinogalactan-protein complexes and starch-like compounds. The antioxidant potential of the studied extracts of Dracocephalum and selected phenolics and water-soluble polysaccharides were investigated via radical-scavenging and ferrous (II) ion chelating assays. This paper demonstrates that herbs and roots of D. austriacum and D. botryoides are rich sources of metabolites and could be valuable plants for new biologically active products. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of whole plant metabolites and their antioxidant activity in D. austriacum and D. botryoides. Full article
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21 pages, 4664 KiB  
Article
Comparative LC–LTQ–MS–MS Analysis of the Leaf Extracts of Lantana camara and Lantana montevidensis Growing in Egypt with Insights into Their Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Cytotoxic Activities
by Mariam I. Gamal El-Din, Nouran M. Fahmy, Fulin Wu, Maha M. Salem, Omar M. Khattab, Hesham R. El-Seedi, Michal Korinek, Tsong-Long Hwang, Ahmed K. Osman, Mohamed El-Shazly and Shaimaa Fayez
Plants 2022, 11(13), 1699; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11131699 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3640
Abstract
Lantana camara L. and Lantana montevidensis Briq. (F. Verbenaceae) are invasive ornamental weeds native to the tropical regions of Africa and America. The leaves of both species have been traditionally used as infusions for treating fever, rheumatism, and cancer. LC–MS–MS-guided profiling of the [...] Read more.
Lantana camara L. and Lantana montevidensis Briq. (F. Verbenaceae) are invasive ornamental weeds native to the tropical regions of Africa and America. The leaves of both species have been traditionally used as infusions for treating fever, rheumatism, and cancer. LC–MS–MS-guided profiling of the methanolic extracts of the leaves of L. camara and L. montevidensis growing in Egypt led to the putative identification of 59 compounds belonging to terpenoids, flavonoids, iridoid glycosides, phenolic acids, and their derivatives. The in-vitro antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of the two extracts were investigated. L. camara and L. montevidensis inhibited DPPH (IC50 = 34.01 ± 1.32 and 47.43 ± 1.74 µg/mL), ABTS+ (IC50 = 30.73 ± 1.42 and 40.37 ± 1.51 µg/mL), and superoxide anion (IC50 = 1.57 ± 0.19 and 1.31 ± 0.14 μg/mL) free radicals. A potent anti-inflammatory effect was observed for both species through the inhibition of elastase release in fMLF/CB-induced human neutrophils (IC50 = 2.40 ± 0.16 and 1.90 ± 0.07 μg/mL). The extracts showed significant cytotoxic activity against a panel of cancer cell lines with the most potent activity against Caco cells (IC50 = 45.65 ± 1.64 and 40.67 ± 1.52 µg/mL for L. camara and L. montevidensis, respectively). Western blotting supported by FACS analysis revealed that the extracts inhibited cancer cell proliferation, reduced metastasis, and induced apoptosis resulting in cell cycle arrest. This was achieved via increasing mRNA and protein expressions of p53 and GSK-3β as well as decreasing the expression of PI3K, Akt, and cyclin D1. Full article
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17 pages, 5746 KiB  
Article
Bulgarian Medicinal Extracts as Natural Inhibitors with Antiviral and Antibacterial Activity
by Ivanka Nikolova, Tsvetelina Paunova-Krasteva, Zdravka Petrova, Petar Grozdanov, Nadya Nikolova, Georgi Tsonev, Alexandros Triantafyllidis, Stoyan Andreev, Madlena Trepechova, Viktoria Milkova and Neli Vilhelmova-Ilieva
Plants 2022, 11(13), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11131666 - 23 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2126
Abstract
Background: Bulgaria is a country with a wide range of medicinal plants, with uses in traditional medicine dating back for centuries. Methods: Disc diffusion assay was used to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of the plant extracts. A cytopathic effect inhibition test was used [...] Read more.
Background: Bulgaria is a country with a wide range of medicinal plants, with uses in traditional medicine dating back for centuries. Methods: Disc diffusion assay was used to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of the plant extracts. A cytopathic effect inhibition test was used for the assessment of the antiviral activity of the extracts. The virucidal activity of the extracts, their influence on the stage of viral adsorption, and their protective effect on uninfected cells were reported using the end-point dilution method, and Δlgs was determined as compared to the untreated controls. Results: The results of the study reveal that the antibacterial potential of G. glabra and H. perforatum extracts in Gram-positive bacteria is more effective than in Gram-negative bacteria. When applied during the replication of HSV-1 and HCov-OC-43, only some of the extracts showed weak activity, with SI between 2 to 8.5. Almost all tested extracts inhibited the extracellular virions of the studied enveloped viruses (HSV-1 and HCov-OC-43) to a greater extent than of the non-enveloped viruses (PV-1 and HAdV-5). They inhibited the stage of viral adsorption (HSV-1) in the host cell (MDBK) to varying degrees and showed a protective effect on healthy cells (MDBK) before they were subjected to viral invasion (HSV-1). Conclusion: The antipathogenic potential of extracts of H. perforatum and G. glabra suggests their effectiveness as antimicrobial agents. All 13 extracts of the Bulgarian medicinal plants studied can be used to reduce viral yield in a wide range of viral infections. Full article
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19 pages, 5492 KiB  
Article
Determination of Antioxidant, Antimicrobial Activity, Heavy Metals and Elements Content of Seaweed Extracts
by Natália Čmiková, Lucia Galovičová, Michal Miškeje, Petra Borotová, Maciej Kluz and Miroslava Kačániová
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111493 - 01 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2888
Abstract
The aim of the research was to determine the antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, determination of chemical elements and heavy metals in seaweed extracts of wakame, arame, dulse, laminaria, kombu, and hijiki. Antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH method and the activity ranged from [...] Read more.
The aim of the research was to determine the antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, determination of chemical elements and heavy metals in seaweed extracts of wakame, arame, dulse, laminaria, kombu, and hijiki. Antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH method and the activity ranged from 0.00 to 2641.34 TEAC. The highest antioxidant activity was observed in kombu (2641.34 TEAC) and arame (2457.5 TEAC). Antimicrobial activity was analyzed by disk diffusion method and MIC method. Three G+ bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis), three G- bacteria (Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Yersinia enterocolitica), and four yeasts (Candida tropicalis, C. krusei, C. glabrata, C. albicans) were used as model organisms. The size of inhibition zones ranged from 0.00 to 8.67 mm. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of the selected seaweeds ranged from MIC50 98.46 (MIC90 100.25) to MIC50 3.43 µL/mL (MIC90 5.26 µL/mL). The content of selected elements was determined in seaweed samples by ICP-OES. The chemical composition of the algae showed differences between species and the presence of heavy metals. Arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum were confirmed. All seaweed samples contained arsenic ranging from 6.6546 to 76.48 mg/kg. Further investigation of seaweeds is needed to identify the active substances present in the algae that are responsible for antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. This study was carried out to evaluate the antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of extracts from five commonly consumed seaweeds for their ability to inhibit selected microorganisms and to determine the health risk due to heavy metals content. Our study contributes to the evidence that seaweeds have antimicrobial and antioxidant activity and seaweed extracts have for pharmacological applications. Full article
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17 pages, 1735 KiB  
Article
Characterisation of the Phenolic Profile of Acacia retinodes and Acacia mearnsii Flowers’ Extracts
by Soraia I. Pedro, Tiago Rosado, Celina Barroca, Duarte Neiva, Vanesa Alonso-Herranz, Ana Gradillas, Antonia García, Jorge Gominho, Eugenia Gallardo and Ofélia Anjos
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1442; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111442 - 28 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2332
Abstract
Acacia spp. is an invasive species that is widespread throughout the Portuguese territory. Thus, it is pertinent to better understand this species in order to find different applications that will value its use. To evaluate the phenolic profile in Acacia flowers, ethanolic extracts [...] Read more.
Acacia spp. is an invasive species that is widespread throughout the Portuguese territory. Thus, it is pertinent to better understand this species in order to find different applications that will value its use. To evaluate the phenolic profile in Acacia flowers, ethanolic extracts obtained through an energized guided dispersive extraction were analysed, focusing on two species, Acacia retinodes and Acacia mearnsii, at two flowering stages. The phytochemical profile of each extract was determined by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detector. The FTIR-ATR technique was used to distinguish the different samples’ compositions. The results showed the presence of high concentrations of phenolic compounds (>300 mg GAE/g extract), among which are flavonoids (>136 mg QE/g extract), for all combinations of species/flowering stages. The phytochemical profile showed a complex composition with 21 compounds identified and quantified (the predominant ones being epicatechin, rutin, vanillin, and catechol). Both species and flowering stages presented significant variations regarding the presence and quantity of phenols and flavonoids, so much so that a principal component analysis performed with FTIR-ATR spectra data of the extracts was able to discriminate between species and flowering stages. Full article
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19 pages, 5262 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Study of the Biological Potential of Wastewater Obtained after the Distillation of Four Bulgarian Oil-Bearing Roses
by Yana Ilieva, Lyudmila Dimitrova, Almira Georgieva, Neli Vilhelmova-Ilieva, Maya Margaritova Zaharieva, Zlatina Kokanova-Nedialkova, Ana Dobreva, Paraskev Nedialkov, Vesselin Kussovski, Alexander D. Kroumov, Hristo Najdenski and Milka Mileva
Plants 2022, 11(8), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11081073 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1936
Abstract
The wastewater after rose oil distillation is usually discharged into the drainage systems and it represents a serious environmental problem. While being rich in polyphenols, which have beneficial biological activity and application in the pharmaceutical industry, limited research has been carried out about [...] Read more.
The wastewater after rose oil distillation is usually discharged into the drainage systems and it represents a serious environmental problem. While being rich in polyphenols, which have beneficial biological activity and application in the pharmaceutical industry, limited research has been carried out about the biological activity of the specific wastewaters per se. Wastewaters after distillation of the four Bulgarian oil-bearing roses Rosa damascena Mill., R. alba L., R. centifolia L., and R. gallica L. exerted significant antioxidant activity and good antiherpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) activity while maintaining a good toxicological safety profile (low cytotoxic effect) towards normal cell lines. More precisely, the non-tumorigenic cells were a human (HEK-293 embryonic kidney cells) and a mouse cell line (CCL-1 fibroblasts, which are recommended as a standard for cytotoxicity evaluation in Annex C of ISO 10993-5). The concentrations that achieved antioxidant and radical scavenging effects (0.04–0.92% v/v) were much lower than most of the maximum tolerated concentrations for the tissue culture cells (0.2–3.4% v/v). The wastewaters had a weak antiproliferative effect against Staphylococcus aureus. None of the wastewaters had activity against Gram-negative bacteria or a bactericidal or antifungal effect. We can conclude that these four species, which are the most preferred species worldwide for producing high-quality rose oil, have the potential to be developed as promising antioxidant and antiherpesvirus nutraceuticals. Full article
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13 pages, 2363 KiB  
Article
Chemical Composition of Kickxia aegyptiaca Essential Oil and Its Potential Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities
by Ahmed M. Abd-ElGawad, Yasser A. El-Amier, Giuliano Bonanomi, Abd El-Nasser G. El Gendy, Abdallah M. Elgorban, Salman F. Alamery and Abdelsamed I. Elshamy
Plants 2022, 11(5), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050594 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2448
Abstract
The exploration of new bioactive compounds from natural resources as alternatives to synthetic chemicals has recently attracted the attention of scientists and researchers. To our knowledge, the essential oil (EO) of Kickxia aegyptiaca has not yet been explored. Thus, the present study was [...] Read more.
The exploration of new bioactive compounds from natural resources as alternatives to synthetic chemicals has recently attracted the attention of scientists and researchers. To our knowledge, the essential oil (EO) of Kickxia aegyptiaca has not yet been explored. Thus, the present study was designed to explore the EO chemical profile of K. aegyptiaca for the first time, as well as evaluate its antioxidant and antibacterial activities, particularly the extracts of this plant that have been reported to possess various biological activities. The EO was extracted from the aerial parts via hydrodistillation and then characterized by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The extracted EO was tested for its antioxidant activity via the reduction in the free radicals, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS). In addition, the EO was tested as an antibacterial mediator against eight Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial isolates. Forty-three compounds were identified in the EO of K. aegyptiaca, with a predominance of terpenoids (75.46%). Oxygenated compounds were the main class, with oxygenated sesquiterpenes attaining 40.42% of the EO total mass, while the oxygenated monoterpenes comprised 29.82%. The major compounds were cuminic aldehyde (21.99%), caryophyllene oxide (17.34%), hexahydrofarnesyl acetone (11.74%), ar-turmerone (8.51%), aromadendrene oxide (3.74%), and humulene epoxide (2.70%). According to the IC50 data, the K. aegyptiaca EO revealed considerable antioxidant activity, with IC50 values of 30.48 mg L−1 and 35.01 mg L−1 for DPPH and ABTS, respectively. In addition, the EO of K. aegyptiaca showed more substantial antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacterial isolates compared to Gram-negative. Based on the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), the EO showed the highest activity against Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus, with an MIC value of 0.031 mg mL1. The present study showed, for the first time, that the EO of K. aegyptiaca has more oxygenated compounds with substantial antioxidant and antibacterial activities. This activity could be attributed to the effect of the main compounds, either singular or synergistic. Thus, further studies are recommended to characterize the major compounds, either alone or in combination as antioxidants or antimicrobial agents, and evaluate their biosafety. Full article
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19 pages, 2366 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Seasonality on Secondary Metabolite Profiles and Neuroprotective Activities of Moss Hypnum cupressiforme Extracts: In Vitro and In Silico Study
by Tanja M. Lunić, Marija R. Mandić, Mariana M. Oalđe Pavlović, Aneta D. Sabovljević, Marko S. Sabovljević, Biljana Đ. Božić Nedeljković and Bojan Đ. Božić
Plants 2022, 11(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010123 - 01 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2623
Abstract
Numerous representatives of mosses, including Hypnum cupressiforme, have been used to alleviate different inflammation-related conditions. However, the mode of action underlying this anti-inflammatory potential has been poorly understood. Moreover, the influence of seasonality on the chemical composition and biological activity of mosses [...] Read more.
Numerous representatives of mosses, including Hypnum cupressiforme, have been used to alleviate different inflammation-related conditions. However, the mode of action underlying this anti-inflammatory potential has been poorly understood. Moreover, the influence of seasonality on the chemical composition and biological activity of mosses is generally overlooked. This study aimed to investigate the influence of seasonal changes (spring, summer, and autumn) on secondary metabolite composition and biological activities of ethyl acetate H. cupressiforme extracts. Antioxidant activity was measured using β-carotene bleaching assay, while MTT, NBT, ELISA, and Griess assays were carried out to explore the anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective potential of extracts. Inhibitory activities on acetylcholinesterase and tyrosinase were assessed experimentally and by docking analysis. The highest content of secondary metabolites and antioxidant activity were observed in moss during the summer. Extracts inhibited the secretion of ROS, NO, TNF-α, and IL-6, alleviating the inflammatory potential of H2O2 and LPS in microglial and neuronal cells. Strong inhibitory effects on acetylcholinesterase and tyrosinase were observed in vitro. Docking analyses revealed high-affinity interactions of secondary metabolites present in H. cupressiforme with important enzyme residues. Altogether, these results reveal the neuroprotective potential and the significance of seasonal fluctuations on secondary metabolite content and biological activities in moss H. cupressiforme. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

30 pages, 2176 KiB  
Review
Recent Developments in Polyphenol Applications on Human Health: A Review with Current Knowledge
by Nikheel Bhojraj Rathod, Nariman Elabed, Sneh Punia, Fatih Ozogul, Se-Kwon Kim and João Miguel Rocha
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061217 - 07 Mar 2023
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 5010
Abstract
Polyphenol has been used in treatment for some health disorders due to their diverse health promoting properties. These compounds can reduce the impacts of oxidation on the human body, prevent the organs and cell structure against deterioration and protect their functional integrity. The [...] Read more.
Polyphenol has been used in treatment for some health disorders due to their diverse health promoting properties. These compounds can reduce the impacts of oxidation on the human body, prevent the organs and cell structure against deterioration and protect their functional integrity. The health promoting abilities are attributed to their high bioactivity imparting them high antioxidative, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral activity, as well as anticancer properties. The application of polyphenols such as flavonoids, catechin, tannins, and phenolic acids in the food industry as bio-preservative substances for foods and beverages can exert a superb activity on the inhibition of oxidative stress via different types of mechanisms. In this review, the detailed classification of polyphenolic compunds and their important bioactivity with special focus on human health are addressed. Additionally, their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 could be used as alternative therapy to treat COVID patients. Inclusions of polyphenolic compounds in various foods have demonstrated their ability to extend shelf life and they positive impacts on human health (antioxidative, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, anticancer). Additionally, their ability to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been reported. Considering their natural occurrence and GRAS status they are highly recommended in food. Full article
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15 pages, 1706 KiB  
Review
Use of Natural Agents and Agrifood Wastes for the Treatment of Skin Photoaging
by Melania Parisi, Mariavittoria Verrillo, Maria Antonietta Luciano, Giuseppina Caiazzo, Maria Quaranta, Francesco Scognamiglio, Vincenzo Di Meo, Alessia Villani, Mariateresa Cantelli, Lucia Gallo, Giovanna G. Altobelli, Serena Poggi, Riccardo Spaccini and Gabriella Fabbrocini
Plants 2023, 12(4), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12040840 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Photoaging is the premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. The harmful effects of UV rays—from the sun or from artificial sources—alter normal skin structures and cause visible damage, especially in the most exposed areas. Fighting premature [...] Read more.
Photoaging is the premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. The harmful effects of UV rays—from the sun or from artificial sources—alter normal skin structures and cause visible damage, especially in the most exposed areas. Fighting premature aging is one of the most important challenges of the medical landscape. Additionally, consumers are looking for care products that offer multiple benefits with reduced environmental and economic impact. The growing requests for bioactive compounds from aromatic plants for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications have to find new sustainable methods to increase the effectiveness of new active formulations derived from eco-compatible technologies. The principle of sustainable practices and the circular economy favor the use of bioactive components derived from recycled biomass. The guidelines of the European Commission support the reuse of various types of organic biomass and organic waste, thus transforming waste management problems into economic opportunities. This review aims to elucidate the main mechanisms of photoaging and how these can be managed using natural renewable sources and specific bioactive derivatives, such as humic extracts from recycled organic biomass, as potential new actors in modern medicine. Full article
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13 pages, 1042 KiB  
Review
Integrated Biorefinery and Life Cycle Assessment of Cassava Processing Residue–From Production to Sustainable Evaluation
by Larissa Renata Santos Andrade, Raul José Alves Felisardo, Ianny Andrade Cruz, Muhammad Bilal, Hafiz M. N. Iqbal, Sikandar I. Mulla, Ram Naresh Bharagava, Ranyere Lucena de Souza, Lucas Carvalho Basilio Azevedo and Luiz Fernando Romanholo Ferreira
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3577; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243577 - 18 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2519
Abstract
Commonly known as a subsistence culture, cassava came to be considered a commodity and key to adding value. However, this tuber’s processing for starch and flour production is responsible for generating a large amount of waste that causes serious environmental problems. This biomass [...] Read more.
Commonly known as a subsistence culture, cassava came to be considered a commodity and key to adding value. However, this tuber’s processing for starch and flour production is responsible for generating a large amount of waste that causes serious environmental problems. This biomass of varied biochemical composition has excellent potential for producing fuels (biogas, bioethanol, butanol, biohydrogen) and non-energetic products (succinic acid, glucose syrup, lactic acid) via biorefinery. However, there are environmental challenges, leading to uncertainties related to the sustainability of biorefineries. Thus, the provision of information generated in life cycle assessment (LCA) can help reduce bottlenecks found in the productive stages, making production more competitive. Within that, this review concentrates information on the production of value-added products, the environmental impact generated, and the sustainability of biorefineries. Full article
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32 pages, 2546 KiB  
Review
Plant Pyranocoumarins: Description, Biosynthesis, Application
by Maria T. Khandy, Anastasia K. Sofronova, Tatiana Y. Gorpenchenko and Nadezhda K. Chirikova
Plants 2022, 11(22), 3135; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11223135 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2292
Abstract
This overview article contains information about pyranocoumarins over the last 55 years. The article is based on the authors’ phytochemical and physiological studies in vivo and in vitro as well as search and analysis of data in literature available on Google Scholar, Web [...] Read more.
This overview article contains information about pyranocoumarins over the last 55 years. The article is based on the authors’ phytochemical and physiological studies in vivo and in vitro as well as search and analysis of data in literature available on Google Scholar, Web of Science, PubMed, and ScienceDirect before January 2022. Pyranocoumarins are synthesized in plants of the Apiaceae, Rutaceae families, and one species in each of the Cornaceae, Calophyllaceae, and Fabaceae families can synthesize this class of compounds. The physiological role of these compounds in plants is not clear. It has been proven that these substances have a wide range of biological activities: anti-cancer, anti-spasmatic, and anticoagulant, and they also inhibit erythrocyte lysis and accumulation of triacylglycerides. The overview generalizes the modern understanding of the classification, structure, and biological activity of natural pyranocoumarins, and summarizes dispersed data into a unified scheme of biosynthesis. The review analyzes data on the localization and productivity of these substances in individual organs and the whole plant. It discusses a link between the unique structure of these substances and their biological activity, as well as new opportunities for pyranocoumarins in pharmacology. The article evaluates the potential of different plant species as producers of pyranocoumarins and considers the possibilities of cell cultures to obtain the end product. Full article
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