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  1. Ghasemzadeh A, Nasiri A, Jaafar HZ, Baghdadi A, Ahmad I
    Molecules, 2014 Oct 30;19(11):17632-48.
    PMID: 25361426 DOI: 10.3390/molecules191117632
    In the current study, changes in secondary metabolite synthesis and the pharmaceutical quality of sabah snake grass leaves and buds were considered in relation to plant age (1 month, 6 months, and 1 year old). The activity of the enzyme chalcone synthase (CHS, EC 2.3.1.74) was measured, as it is a key enzyme for flavonoid production. Significant differences in total flavonoid (TF) production were observed between the three plant growth periods and the different plant parts. The highest contents of TF (6.32 mg/g dry weight [DW]) and total phenolic (TP) (18.21 mg/g DW) were recorded in 6-month-old buds. Among the flavonoids isolated in this study the most important ones based on concentration were from high to low as follows: catechin > quercetin > kaempferol > luteolin. Production of phenolic acids increased from 1 to 6 months, but after 6 months up to 1 year of age, they decreased significantly. The highest contents of caffeic acid (0.307 mg/g DW) and gallic acid (5.96 mg/g DW) were recorded in 1-year and 6-month-old buds, respectively. The lowest and highest activity of CHS was recorded in 1-month and 6-month-old buds with values of 3.6 and 9.5 nkat/mg protein, respectively. These results indicate that the increment in flavonoids and phenolic acids in 6-month-old buds can be attributed to an increase in CHS activity. The highest 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) activity was observed in the extract of 1-year-old buds followed by 6-month-old buds, with 50% of free radical scavenging (IC50) values of 64.6 and 73.5 µg/mL, respectively. Interestingly, a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay showed a higher activity in 6-month-old buds (488 μM of Fe(II)/g) than in 1-year-old buds (453 μM of Fe(II)/g), in contrast to the DPPH result. Significant correlations (p < 0.05) were observed between CHS enzyme activity and FRAP activity, TF, catechin, and kaempferol content. Extracts of 6-month-old bud exhibited a significant in vitro anticancer activity against HeLa cancer cells with IC50 value of 56.8 µg/mL. These results indicate that early harvesting of snake grass (6-month-old) may yield increased concentrations of secondary metabolites, which are potent antioxidant compounds.
  2. Ghasemzadeh A, Jaafar HZE, Baghdadi A, Tayebi-Meigooni A
    Molecules, 2018 Jul 25;23(8).
    PMID: 30044450 DOI: 10.3390/molecules23081852
    Since α-mangostin in mangosteen fruits was reported to be the main compound able to provide natural antioxidants, the microwave-assisted extraction process to obtain high-quality α-mangostin from mangosteen pericarp (Garcinia mangostana L.) was optimized using a central composite design and response surface methodology. The parameters examined included extraction time, microwave power, and solvent percentage. The antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of optimized and non-optimized extracts was evaluated. Ethyl acetate as a green solvent exhibited the highest concentration of α-mangostin, followed by dichloromethane, ethanol, and water. The highest α-mangostin concentration in mangosteen pericarp of 121.01 mg/g dry matter (DM) was predicted at 3.16 min, 189.20 W, and 72.40% (v/v). The verification of experimental results under these optimized conditions showed that the α-mangostin value for the mangosteen pericarp was 120.68 mg/g DM. The predicted models were successfully developed to extract α-mangostin from the mangosteen pericarp. No significant differences were observed between the predicted and the experimental α-mangostin values, indicating that the developed models are accurate. The analysis of the extracts for secondary metabolites showed that the total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) increased significantly in the optimized extracts (OE) compared to the non-optimized extracts (NOE). Additionally, trans-ferulic acid and catechin were abundant among the compounds identified. In addition, the optimized extract of mangosteen pericarp with its higher α-mangostin and secondary metabolite concentrations exhibited higher antioxidant activities with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 20.64 µg/mL compared to those of the NOE (28.50 µg/mL). The OE exhibited the highest antibacterial activity, particularly against Gram-positive bacteria. In this study, the microwave-assisted extraction process of α-mangostin from mangosteen pericarp was successfully optimized, indicating the accuracy of the models developed, which will be usable in a larger-scale extraction process.
  3. Ghasemzadeh A, Jaafar HZE, Baghdadi A, Tayebi-Meigooni A
    Molecules, 2018 07 05;23(7).
    PMID: 29976903 DOI: 10.3390/molecules23071646
    Gingerols and shogaols are compounds found in ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe); shogaols are found in lower concentration than gingerols but exhibit higher biological activities. This work studied the effects of different drying methods including open sun drying (OSD) solar tunnel drying (STD) and hot air drying (HAD) with various temperature on the formation of six main active compounds in ginger rhizomes, namely 6-, 8-, and 10-gingerols and 6-, 8-, and 10-shogaols, as well as essential oil content. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of dried ginger was also evaluated. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that after HAD with variable temperature (120, 150 and 180 °C), contents of 6-, 8-, and 10-gingerols decreased, while contents of 6-, 8-, and 10-shogaol increased. High formation of 6-, 8-, and 10-shogaol contents were observed in HAD (at 150 °C for 6 h) followed by STD and OSD, respectively. OSD exhibited high content of essential oil followed by STD and HAD method. Ginger-treated with HAD exhibited the highest DPPH (IC50 of 57.8 mg/g DW) and FRAP (493.8 µM of Fe(II)/g DM) activity, compared to STD and OSD method. HAD ginger exhibited potent antimicrobial activity with lower minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) value against bacteria strains followed by STD and OSD, respectively. Ginger extracts showed more potent antimicrobial activity against Gram positive bacteria than Gram negative bacteria strains. Result of this study confirmed that conversion of gingerols to shogaols was significantly affected by different drying temperature and time. HAD at 150 °C for 6 h, provides a method for enhancing shogaols content in ginger rhizomes with improving antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.
  4. Baghdadi A, Halim RA, Ghasemzadeh A, Ramlan MF, Sakimin SZ
    PeerJ, 2018;6:e5280.
    PMID: 30386686 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5280
    Background: Corn silage is an important feed for intense ruminant production, but the growth of corn relies heavily on the use of chemical fertilizers. Sustainable crop production requires careful management of all nutrient sources available on a farm, particularly in corn-based cropping systems.

    Methods: Experiments were conducted to determine the appropriate technique of corn-legume intercropping in conjunction with the supplemental use of chemical fertilizers, organic manure, and biofertilizers (BFs). Acetylene reduction assays (ARAs) were also performed on corn and soybean roots.

    Results: Combining chemical fertilizers with chicken manure (CM) in a 50:50 ratio and applying 50% NPK+50% CM+BF produced fresh forage and dry matter (DM) yields that were similar to those produced in the 100% nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) treatment. Among the lone fertilizer treatments, the inorganic fertilizer (100% NPK) treatment produced the highest DM yield (13.86 t/ha) of forage and outyielded the 100% CM (9.74 t/ha) treatment. However, when CM was combined with NPK, the resulting DM yield of forage (13.86 t/ha) was the same as that resulting from 100% NPK (13.68 t/ha). Compared with CM applications alone, combinations of NPK and CM applications resulted in increased plant height, crop growth rates (CGRs) and leaf area index (LAI), but the values of these parameters were similar to those resulting from 100% NPK application. Fertilizers in which the ratio was 50% CM+50% NPK or 50% CM+50% NPK+BF resulted in protein yields that were similar to those resulting from conventional fertilizers. Similarly, the CP content did not significantly differ between applications of the 100% NPK and 50% CM+50% NPK fertilizers. The use of BFs had no significant impact on improving either the yield or quality of forage fertilized with inorganic or organic fertilizer. Lactic acid responded differently to different fertilizer applications and was significantly higher in the fertilized plots than in the unfertilized plots. Compared with treatments of lone chemical and lone organic manure fertilizers, treatments involving applications of BF and a combination of BF and NPK or CM resulted in higher ARA values.

    Discussion: There is no simple and easy approach to increase biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) in grain legumes grown as part of a cropping system under realistic farm field conditions. Overall, evidence recorded from this study proves that, compared with corn monocrops combined with CM and chemical fertilizers, corn-soybean intercrops could increase forage yields and quality, produce higher total protein yields, and reduce the need for protein supplements and chemical fertilizers.

  5. Aslani F, Bagheri S, Muhd Julkapli N, Juraimi AS, Hashemi FS, Baghdadi A
    ScientificWorldJournal, 2014;2014:641759.
    PMID: 25202734 DOI: 10.1155/2014/641759
    Rapid development and wide applications of nanotechnology brought about a significant increment on the number of engineered nanomaterials (ENs) inevitably entering our living system. Plants comprise of a very important living component of the terrestrial ecosystem. Studies on the influence of engineered nanomaterials (carbon and metal/metal oxides based) on plant growth indicated that in the excess content, engineered nanomaterials influences seed germination. It assessed the shoot-to-root ratio and the growth of the seedlings. From the toxicological studies to date, certain types of engineered nanomaterials can be toxic once they are not bound to a substrate or if they are freely circulating in living systems. It is assumed that the different types of engineered nanomaterials affect the different routes, behavior, and the capability of the plants. Furthermore, different, or even opposing conclusions, have been drawn from most studies on the interactions between engineered nanomaterials with plants. Therefore, this paper comprehensively reviews the studies on the different types of engineered nanomaterials and their interactions with different plant species, including the phytotoxicity, uptakes, and translocation of engineered nanomaterials by the plant at the whole plant and cellular level.
  6. Ghasemzadeh A, Baghdadi A, Z E Jaafar H, Swamy MK, Megat Wahab PE
    Molecules, 2018 Jul 26;23(8).
    PMID: 30049990 DOI: 10.3390/molecules23081863
    Recently, the quality-by-design concept has been widely implemented in the optimization of pharmaceutical processes to improve batch-to-batch consistency. As flavonoid compounds in pigmented rice bran may provide natural antioxidants, extraction of flavonoid components from red and brown rice bran was optimized using central composite design (CCD) and response surface methodology (RSM). Among the solvents tested, ethanol was most efficient for extracting flavonoids from rice bran. The examined parameters were temperature, solvent percentage, extraction time, and solvent-to-solid ratio. The highest total flavonoid content (TFC) in red rice bran was predicted as 958.14 mg quercetin equivalents (QE)/100 g dry matter (DM) at 58.5 °C, 71.5% (v/v), 36.2 min, and 7.94 mL/g, respectively, whereas the highest TFC in brown rice bran was predicted as 782.52 mg QE/100 g DM at 56.7 °C, 74.4% (v/v), 36.9 min, and 7.18 mL/g, respectively. Verification experiment results under these optimized conditions showed that the TFC values for red and brown rice bran were 962.38 and 788.21 mg QE/100 g DM, respectively. No significant differences were observed between the predicted and experimental TFC values, indicating that the developed models are accurate. Analysis of the extracts showed that apigenin and p-coumaric acid are abundant in red and brown rice bran. Further, red rice bran with its higher flavonoid content exhibited higher nitric oxide and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl scavenging activities (EC50 values of 41.3 and 33.6 μg/mL, respectively) than brown rice bran. In this study, an extraction process for flavonoid compounds from red and brown rice bran was successfully optimized. The accuracy of the developed models indicated that the approach is applicable to larger-scale extraction processes.
  7. Ghasemzadeh A, Ashkani S, Baghdadi A, Pazoki A, Jaafar HZ, Rahmat A
    Molecules, 2016 Sep 09;21(9).
    PMID: 27618000 DOI: 10.3390/molecules21091203
    Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum Linnaeus) is aromatic herb that has been utilized in traditional medicine. To improve the phytochemical constituents and pharmaceutical quality of sweet basil leaves, ultraviolet (UV)-B irradiation at different intensities (2.30, 3.60, and 4.80 W/m²) and durations (4, 6, 8, and 10-h) was applied at the post-harvest stage. Total flavonoid content (TFC) and total phenolic content (TPC) were measured using spectrophotometric method, and individual flavonoids and phenolic acids were identified using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography. As a key enzyme for the metabolism of flavonoids, chalcone synthase (CHS) activity, was measured using a CHS assay. Antioxidant activity and antiproliferative activity of extracts against a breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) were evaluated using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays and MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assays, respectively. UV-B irradiation at an intensity of 3.60 W/m² increased TFC approximately 0.85-fold and also increased quercetin (0.41-fold), catechin (0.85-fold), kaempferol (0.65-fold) rutin (0.68-fold) and luteolin (1.00-fold) content. The highest TPC and individual phenolic acid (gallic acid, cinnamic acid and ferulic acid) was observed in the 3.60 W/m² of UV-B treatment. Cinnamic acid and luteolin were not detected in the control plants, production being induced by UV-B irradiation. Production of these secondary metabolites was also significantly influenced by the duration of UV-B irradiation. Irradiation for 8-h led to higher TFC, TPC and individual flavonoids and phenolic acids than for the other durations (4, 8, and 10-h) except for cinnamic acid, which was detected at higher concentration when irradiated for 6-h. Irradiation for 10-h significantly decreased the secondary metabolite production in sweet basil leaves. CHS activity was induced by UV-B irradiation and highest activity was observed at 3.60 W/m² of UV-B irradiation. UV-B treated leaves presented the highest DPPH activity and antiproliferative activity with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 56.0 and 40.8 µg/mL, respectively, over that of the control plants (78.0 and 58.2 µg/mL, respectively). These observations suggest that post-harvest irradiation with UV-B can be considered a promising technique to improve the healthy-nutritional and pharmaceutical properties of sweet basil leaves.
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