The effect of foliar application of salicylic acid (SA) at different concentrations (10-3 M and 10-5 M) was investigated on the production of secondary metabolites (flavonoids), chalcone synthase (CHS) activity, antioxidant activity and anticancer activity (against breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) in two varieties of Malaysian ginger, namely Halia Bentong and Halia Bara. The results of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that application of SA induced the synthesis of anthocyanin and fisetin in both varieties. Anthocyanin and fisetin were not detected in the control plants. Accordingly, the concentrations of some flavonoids (rutin and apigenin) decreased significantly in plants treated with different concentrations of SA. The present study showed that SA enhanced the chalcone synthase (CHS) enzyme activity (involving flavonoid synthesis) and recorded the highest activity value of 5.77 nkat /mg protein in Halia Bara with the 10-5 M SA treatment. As the SA concentration was decreased from 10-3 M to 10-5 M, the free radical scavenging power (FRAP) increased about 23% in Halia Bentong and 10.6% in Halia Bara. At a concentration of 350 μg mL-1, the DPPH antioxidant activity recorded the highest value of 58.30%-72.90% with the 10-5 M SA treatment followed by the 10-3 M SA (52.14%-63.66%) treatment. The lowest value was recorded in the untreated control plants (42.5%-46.7%). These results indicate that SA can act not only as an inducer but also as an inhibitor of secondary metabolites. Meanwhile, the highest anticancer activity against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines was observed for H. Bara extracts treated with 10-5 M SA with values of 61.53 and 59.88%, respectively. The results suggest that the high anticancer activity in these varieties may be related to the high concentration of potent anticancer components including fisetin and anthocyanin. The results thus indicate that the synthesis of flavonoids in ginger can be increased by foliar application of SA in a controlled environment and that the anticancer activity in young ginger extracts could be improved.
The present study aimed to optimize the conditions for the production of adventitious roots from Eurycoma longifolia Jack, an important medicinal woody plant, in bioreactor culture. The effects of the type and concentration of auxin on root growth were studied, as well as the effects of the NH4(+):NO3(-) ratio on adventitious root growth and the production of phenolics and flavonoids. Approximately 5 g L(-1) fresh weight of adventitious roots was inoculated into a 3 L balloon-type bubble bioreactor, which contained 2 L 3/4 MS medium supplemented with 30 g L(-1) sucrose and cultures were maintained in the dark for 7 weeks at 24 ± 1°C. Higher concentrations of IBA (7.0 and 9.0 mg L(-1)) and NAA (5.0 mg L(-1)) enhanced the biomass and accumulation of total phenolics and flavonoids. The adventitious roots were thin, numerous, and elongated in 3/4 MS medium supplemented with 5.0 and 7.0 mg L(-1) IBA, whereas the lateral roots were shorter and thicker with 5.0 mg L(-1) NAA compared with IBA treatment. The optimum biomasses of 50.22 g L(-1) fresh weight and 4.60 g L(-1) dry weight were obtained with an NH4(+):NO3(-) ratio of 15:30. High phenolic and flavonoid productions (38.59 and 11.27 mg L(-1) medium, respectively) were also obtained with a ratio of 15:30. Analysis of the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)-scavenging activity indicated higher antioxidant activity with an NH4(+):NO3(-) ratio of 30:15. These results suggest that balloon-type bubble bioreactor cultures are suitable for the large-scale commercial production of E. longifolia adventitious roots which contain high yield of bioactive compounds.
Ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiation induces oxidative stress in plant cells due to the generation of excessive reactive oxygen species. Morus alba L. (M. abla) is an important medicinal plant used for the treatment of human diseases. Also, its leaves are widely used as food for silkworms. In our previous research, we found that a high level of UVB irradiation with dark incubation led to the accumulation of secondary metabolites in M. abla leaf. The aim of the present study was to describe and compare M. alba leaf transcriptomics with different treatments (control, UVB, UVB+dark). Leaf transcripts from M. alba were sequenced using an Illumina Hiseq 2000 system, which produced 14.27Gb of data including 153,204,462 paired-end reads among the three libraries. We de novo assembled 133,002 transcripts with an average length of 1270bp and filtered 69,728 non-redundant unigenes. A similarity search was performed against the non-redundant National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) protein database, which returned 41.08% hits. Among the 20,040 unigenes annotated in UniProtKB/SwissProt database, 16,683 unigenes were assigned 102,232 gene ontology terms and 6667 unigenes were identified in 287 known metabolic pathways. Results of differential gene expression analysis together with real-time quantitative PCR tests indicated that UVB irradiation with dark incubation enhanced the flavonoid biosynthesis in M. alba leaf. Our findings provided a valuable proof for a better understanding of the metabolic mechanism under abiotic stresses in M. alba leaf.
Panduratin A extracted from Boesenbergia rotunda is a flavonoid reported to possess a range of medicinal indications which include anti-dengue, anti-HIV, anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Boesenbergia rotunda is a plant from the Zingiberaceae family commonly used as a food ingredient and traditional medicine in Southeast Asia and China. Reports on the health benefits of secondary metabolites extracted from Boesenbergia rotunda over the last few years has resulted in rising demands for panduratin A. However large scale extraction has been hindered by the naturally low abundance of the compound and limited knowledge of its biosynthetic pathway.
P. minus is an aromatic plant, the leaf of which is widely used as a food additive and in the perfume industry. The leaf also accumulates secondary metabolites that act as active ingredients such as flavonoid. Due to limited genomic and transcriptomic data, the biosynthetic pathway of flavonoids is currently unclear. Identification of candidate genes involved in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway will significantly contribute to understanding the biosynthesis of active compounds. We have constructed a standard cDNA library from P. minus leaves, and two normalized full-length enriched cDNA libraries were constructed from stem and root organs in order to create a gene resource for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, especially flavonoid biosynthesis. Thus, large-scale sequencing of P. minus cDNA libraries identified 4196 expressed sequences tags (ESTs) which were deposited in dbEST in the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI). From the three constructed cDNA libraries, 11 ESTs encoding seven genes were mapped to the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. Finally, three flavonoid biosynthetic pathway-related ESTs chalcone synthase, CHS (JG745304), flavonol synthase, FLS (JG705819) and leucoanthocyanidin dioxygenase, LDOX (JG745247) were selected for further examination by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) in different P. minus organs. Expression was detected in leaf, stem and root. Gene expression studies have been initiated in order to better understand the underlying physiological processes.
The effect of two different CO(2) concentrations (400 and 800 μmol mol(-1)) on the photosynthesis rate, primary and secondary metabolite syntheses and the antioxidant activities of the leaves, stems and rhizomes of two Zingiber officinale varieties (Halia Bentong and Halia Bara) were assessed in an effort to compare and validate the medicinal potential of the subterranean part of the young ginger. High photosynthesis rate (10.05 μmol CO(2) m(-2)s(-1) in Halia Bara) and plant biomass (83.4 g in Halia Bentong) were observed at 800 μmol mol(-1) CO(2). Stomatal conductance decreased and water use efficiency increased with elevated CO(2) concentration. Total flavonoids (TF), total phenolics (TP), total soluble carbohydrates (TSC), starch and plant biomass increased significantly (P ≤ 0.05) in all parts of the ginger varieties under elevated CO(2) (800 μmol mol(-1)). The order of the TF and TP increment in the parts of the plant was rhizomes > stems > leaves. More specifically, Halia Bara had a greater increase of TF (2.05 mg/g dry weight) and TP (14.31 mg/g dry weight) compared to Halia Bentong (TF: 1.42 mg/g dry weight; TP: 9.11 mg/g dry weight) in average over the whole plant. Furthermore, plants with the highest rate of photosynthesis had the highest TSC and phenolics content. Significant differences between treatments and species were observed for TF and TP production. Correlation coefficient showed that TSC and TP content are positively correlated in both varieties. The antioxidant activity, as determined by the ferric reducing/antioxidant potential (FRAP) activity, increased in young ginger grown under elevated CO(2). The FRAP values for the leaves, rhizomes and stems extracts of both varieties grown under two different CO(2) concentrations (400 and 800 μmol mol(-1)) were significantly lower than those of vitamin C (3107.28 μmol Fe (II)/g) and α-tocopherol (953 μmol Fe (II)/g), but higher than that of BHT (74.31 μmol Fe (II)/g). These results indicate that the plant biomass, primary and secondary metabolite synthesis, and following that, antioxidant activities of Malaysian young ginger varieties can be enhanced through controlled environment (CE) and CO(2) enrichment.
Flavonoids are polyphenols that are important organic chemicals in plants. The health benefits of flavonoids that result in high commercial values make them attractive targets for large-scale production through bioengineering. Strategies such as engineering a flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in microbial hosts provide an alternative way to produce these beneficial compounds. Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Streptomyces sp. are among the expression systems used to produce recombinant products, as well as for the production of flavonoid compounds through various bioengineering approaches including clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based genome engineering and genetically encoded biosensors to detect flavonoid biosynthesis. In this study, we review the recent advances in engineering model microbial hosts as being the factory to produce targeted flavonoid compounds.
Nowadays, phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants are raising interest in consumers for their roles in the maintenance of human health. Phenolics and flavonoids are known for their health-promoting properties due to protective effects against cardiovascular disease, cancers and other disease. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one of the traditional folk medicinal plants and it is widely used in cooking in Malaysia. In this study, four levels of glasshouse light intensities (310, 460, 630 and 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1)) were used in order to consider the effect of light intensity on the production, accumulation and partitioning of total phenolics (TP), total flavonoids (TF) and antioxidant activities in two varieties of Malaysian young ginger (Zingiber officinale). TF biosynthesis was highest in the Halia Bara variety under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1) and TP was high in this variety under a light intensity of 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1). The highest amount of these components accumulated in the leaves and after that in the rhizomes. Also, antioxidant activities determined by the 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assay in both of varieties, increased significantly (p ≤ 0.01) with increasing TF concentration, and high antioxidant activity was observed in the leaves of Halia Bara grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1). The ferric reducing (FRAP) activity of the rhizomes was higher than that of the leaves in 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1) of sun light. This study indicates the ability of different light intensities to enhance the medicinal components and antioxidant activities of the leaves and young rhizomes of Zingiber officinale varieties. Additionally, this study also validated their medicinal potential based on TF and TP contents.
A factorial split plot 4 × 3 experiment was designed to examine and characterize the relationship among production of secondary metabolites (total phenolics, TP; total flavonoids, TF), carbohydrate content and photosynthesis of three varieties of the Malaysian medicinal herb Labisia pumila Benth. namely the varieties alata, pumila and lanceolata under CO(2) enrichment (1,200 µmol mol(-1)) combined with four levels of nitrogen fertilization (0, 90, 180 and 270 kg N ha(-1)). No varietal differences were observed, however, as the levels of nitrogen increased from 0 to 270 kg N ha(-1), the production of TP and TF decreased in the order leaves>roots>stems. The production of TP and TF was related to increased total non structural carbohydrate (TNC), where the increase in starch content was larger than that in sugar concentration. Nevertheless, the regression analysis exhibited a higher influence of soluble sugar concentration (r(2) = 0.88) than starch on TP and TF biosynthesis. Photosynthesis, on the other hand, displayed a significant negative relationship with TP and TF production (r(2) = -0.87). A decrease in photosynthetic rate with increasing secondary metabolites might be due to an increase in the shikimic acid pathway that results in enhanced production of TP and TF. Chlorophyll content exhibited very significant negative relationships with total soluble sugar, starch and total non structural carbohydrate.
The relationship between phenolics and flavonoids synthesis/accumulation and photosynthesis rate was investigated for two Malaysian ginger (Zingiber officinale) varieties grown under four levels of glasshouse light intensity, namely 310, 460, 630 and 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1). High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was employed to identify and quantify the polyphenolic components. The results of HPLC analysis indicated that synthesis and partitioning of quercetin, rutin, catechin, epicatechin and naringenin were high in plants grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1). The average value of flavonoids synthesis in leaves for both varieties increased (Halia Bentong 26.1%; Halia Bara 19.5%) when light intensity decreased. Photosynthetic rate and plant biomass increased in both varieties with increasing light intensity. More specifically, a high photosynthesis rate (12.25 μmol CO(2) m(-2)s(-1) in Halia Bara) and plant biomass (79.47 g in Halia Bentong) were observed at 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1). Furthermore, plants with the lowest rate of photosynthesis had highest flavonoids content. Previous studies have shown that quercetin inhibits and salicylic acid induces the electron transport rate in photosynthesis photosystems. In the current study, quercetin was an abundant flavonoid in both ginger varieties. Moreover, higher concentration of quercetin (1.12 mg/g dry weight) was found in Halia Bara leaves grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1) with a low photosynthesis rate. Furthermore, a high content of salicylic acid (0.673 mg/g dry weight) was detected in Halia Bara leaves exposed under 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1) with a high photosynthesis rate. No salicylic acid was detected in gingers grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1). Ginger is a semi-shade loving plant that does not require high light intensity for photosynthesis. Different photosynthesis rates at different light intensities may be related to the absence or presence of some flavonoid and phenolic compounds.