ResearchPad - medicinal-plants https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Flavonoids and antioxidant activity of rare and endangered fern: <i>Isoetes sinensis</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7844 Isoetes sinensis Palmer is a critically endangered, first-class protected plant in China. Until now, researchers have primarily focused on the ultrastructure, phylogeny, and transcriptomes of the plant. However, flavonoid profiles and bioactivity of I. sinensis have not been extensively investigated. To develop the endangered I. sinensis for edible and medicinal purposes, flavonoid content, chemical constitution, and antioxidant activities were investigated in this study. Results revealed the following. 1) The total flavonoid content was determined as 10.74 ± 0.25 mg/g., 2) Antioxidant activities were stronger than most ferns, especially ABTS free radical scavenging activities. 3) Four flavones, containing apigenin, apigenin-7-glucuronide, acacetin-7-O-glcopyranoside, and homoplantageninisoetin; four flavonols, namely, isoetin, kaempferol-3-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-[6”-O-(3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl)-β-D-glucopyranoside], and limocitrin-Neo; one prodelphinidin (procyanidins;) and one nothofagin (dihydrochalcone) were tentatively identified in the mass spectrometry-DAD (254nm) chromatograms. This study was the first to report on flavonoid content and antioxidant activities of I. sinensis. Stronger antioxidant activity and flavonoid content suggests that the endangered I. sinensis is an important and potentially edible and medicinal plant.

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<![CDATA[Toxicity and oviposition deterrence of essential oils of Clinopodium nubigenum and Lavandula angustifolia against the myiasis-inducing blowfly Lucilia sericata]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe5ad5eed0c484e5b930

Cutaneous myiasis is a severe worldwide medical and veterinary issue. In this trial the essential oil (EO) of the Andean medicinal plant species Clinopodium nubigenum (Kunth) Kuntze was evaluated for its bioactivity against the myiasis-inducing blowfly Lucilia sericata (Meigen) (Diptera Calliphoridae) and compared with that of the well-known medicinal plant species Lavandula angustifolia Mill. The EOs were analysed and tested in laboratory for their oviposition deterrence and toxicity against L. sericata adults. The physiology of EO toxicity was evaluated by enzymatic inhibition tests. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of the EOs were tested as well. At 0.8 μL cm-2, both EOs completely deterred L. sericata oviposition up to 3 hours. After 24 h, the oviposition deterrence was still 82.7% for L. angustifolia and the 89.5% for C. nubigenum. The two EOs were also toxic to eggs and adults of L. sericata. By contact/fumigation, the EOs, the LC50 values against the eggs were 0.07 and 0.48 μL cm-2 while, by topical application on the adults, LD50 values were 0.278 and 0.393 μL per individual for C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia EOs, respectively. Inhibition of acetylcholine esterase of L. sericata by EOs (IC50 = 67.450 and 79.495 mg L-1 for C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia, respectively) suggested that the neural sites are targets of the EO toxicity. Finally, the observed antibacterial and antifungal properties of C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia EOs suggest that they could also help prevent secondary infections.

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<![CDATA[Ocimum metabolomics in response to abiotic stresses: Cold, flood, drought and salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce6d5eed0c484c81a4d

Ocimum tenuiflorum is a widely used medicinal plant since ancient times and still continues to be irreplaceable due to its properties. The plant has been explored chemically and pharmacologically, however, the molecular studies have been started lately. In an attempt to get a comprehensive overview of the abiotic stress response in O. tenuiflorum, de novo transcriptome sequencing of plant leaves under the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses was carried out. A comparative differential gene expression (DGE) study was carried out between the common transcripts in each stress with respect to the control. KEGG pathway analysis and gene ontology (GO) enrichment studies exhibited several modifications in metabolic pathways as the result of four abiotic stresses. Besides this, a comparative metabolite profiling of stress and control samples was performed. Among the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses, the plant was most susceptible to the cold stress. Severe treatments of all these abiotic stresses also decreased eugenol which is the main secondary metabolite present in the O. tenuiflorum plant. This investigation presents a comprehensive analysis of the abiotic stress effects in O. tenuiflorum. Current study provides an insight to the status of pathway genes’ expression that help synthesizing economically valuable phenylpropanoids and terpenoids related to the adaptation of the plant. This study identified several putative abiotic stress tolerant genes which can be utilized to either breed stress tolerant O. tenuiflorum through pyramiding or generating transgenic plants.

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<![CDATA[Plants used by the rural community of Bananal, Mato Grosso, Brazil: Aspects of popular knowledge]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52e9d5eed0c4842bd256

Studies in rural communities are important to maintain popular knowledge between generations, as well as to identify new species for pharmaceutical production. Thus, the objectives of this study were to determine which plant species the rural community of Bananal, Mato Grosso, Brazil, uses by calculating the levels of fidelity and concordance regarding species uses among residents and to determine if there is a relationship between the number of known useful plants and levels of education, age, and residence time. Ethnobotanical data was collected from residents of the community through semi-structured interviews in January/December/2016. Species diversity was calculated using Shannon-Wiener, Level of Fidelity (LF), Correction Factor, and the Percentage of Agreement regarding the Main Uses (AMU). Statistical tests were performed using generalized linear models (GLM) in the R environment. The plant use indications were grouped according to the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD 10). We found 152 species belonging to 130 genera and 67 families. The most frequently used plant parts were leaves, and decoction was the most frequent preparation mode. Strychnos pseudoquina was the species with the highest amount of use indications. The diversity index was 4.5 nats/ind-1. The body system with the most citations was the code XVIII of ICD 10, corresponding to the species: alfavaca, mentraste, terramicina, angelim, fedegoso. Medicinal species with AMU values higher than 25% were: Strychnos pseudoquina, Plectranthus barbatus, Citrus sinensis cv. pera, Cymbopogon citratus. There was a relationship between the number of useful plants and the residence time of the participants. The Bananal community revealed high species richness and the relationship of knowledge showed that the older the residents and the longer their residence time in the community, the more knowledge they acquired.

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<![CDATA[The first initiative of DNA barcoding of ornamental plants from Egypt and potential applications in horticulture industry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc694

DNA barcoding relies on short and standardized gene regions to identify species. The agricultural and horticultural applications of barcoding such as for marketplace regulation and copyright protection remain poorly explored. This study examines the effectiveness of the standard plant barcode markers (matK and rbcL) for the identification of plant species in private and public nurseries in northern Egypt. These two markers were sequenced from 225 specimens of 161 species and 62 plant families of horticultural importance. The sequence recovery was similar for rbcL (96.4%) and matK (84%), but the number of specimens assigned correctly to the respective genera and species was lower for rbcL (75% and 29%) than matK (85% and 40%). The combination of rbcL and matK brought the number of correct generic and species assignments to 83.4% and 40%, respectively. Individually, the efficiency of both markers varied among different plant families; for example, all palm specimens (Arecaceae) were correctly assigned to species while only one individual of Asteraceae was correctly assigned to species. Further, barcodes reliably assigned ornamental horticultural and medicinal plants correctly to genus while they showed a lower or no success in assigning these plants to species and cultivars. For future, we recommend the combination of a complementary barcode (e.g. ITS or trnH-psbA) with rbcL + matK to increase the performance of taxa identification. By aiding species identification of horticultural crops and ornamental palms, the analysis of the barcode regions will have large impact on horticultural industry.

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<![CDATA[Unidentifiable by morphology: DNA barcoding of plant material in local markets in Iran]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdc9bd

Local markets provide a rapid insight into the medicinal plants growing in a region as well as local traditional health concerns. Identification of market plant material can be challenging as plants are often sold in dried or processed forms. In this study, three approaches of DNA barcoding-based molecular identification of market samples are evaluated, two objective sequence matching approaches and an integrative approach that coalesces sequence matching with a priori and a posteriori data from other markers, morphology, ethnoclassification and species distribution. Plant samples from markets and herbal shops were identified using morphology, descriptions of local use, and vernacular names with relevant floras and pharmacopoeias. DNA barcoding was used for identification of samples that could not be identified to species level using morphology. Two methods based on BLAST similarity-based identification, were compared with an integrative identification approach. Integrative identification combining the optimized similarity-based approach with a priori and a posteriori information resulted in a 1.67, 1.95 and 2.00 fold increase for ITS, trnL-F spacer, and both combined, respectively. DNA barcoding of traded plant material requires objective strategies to include data from multiple markers, morphology, and traditional knowledge to optimize species level identification success.

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<![CDATA[Biosynthesis of the oxygenated diterpene nezukol in the medicinal plant Isodon rubescens is catalyzed by a pair of diterpene synthases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf0fb

Plants produce an immense diversity of natural products (i.e. secondary or specialized metabolites) that offer a rich source of known and potentially new pharmaceuticals and other desirable bioproducts. The Traditional Chinese Medicinal plant Isodon rubescens (Lamiaceae) contains an array of bioactive labdane-related diterpenoid natural products. Of these, the ent-kauranoid oridonin is the most prominent specialized metabolite that has been extensively studied for its potent antimicrobial and anticancer efficacy. Mining of a previously established transcriptome of I. rubescens leaf tissue identified seven diterpene synthase (diTPSs) candidates. Here we report the functional characterization of four I. rubescens diTPSs. IrTPS5 and IrTPS3 were identified as an ent-copalyl diphosphate (CPP) synthase and a (+)-CPP synthase, respectively. Distinct transcript abundance of IrTPS5 and the predicted ent-CPP synthase IrTPS1 suggested a role of IrTPS5 in specialized ent-kaurene metabolism possibly en route to oridonin. Nicotiana benthamiana co-expression assays demonstrated that IrTPS4 functions sequentially with IrTPS3 to form miltiradiene. In addition, IrTPS2 converted the IrTPS3 product (+)-CPP into the hydroxylated tricyclic diterpene nezukol not previously identified in I. rubescens. Metabolite profiling verified the presence of nezukol in I. rubescens leaf tissue. The proposed IrTPS2-catalyzed reaction mechanism proceeds via the common ionization of the diphosphate group of (+)-CPP, followed by formation of an intermediary pimar-15-en-8-yl+ carbocation and neutralization of the carbocation by water capture at C-8 to yield nezukol, as confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. Oxygenation activity is rare for the family of class I diTPSs and offers new catalysts for developing metabolic engineering platforms to produce a broader spectrum of bioactive diterpenoid natural products.

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<![CDATA[Compounds Derived from the Bhutanese Daisy, Ajania nubigena, Demonstrate Dual Anthelmintic Activity against Schistosoma mansoni and Trichuris muris]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daafab0ee8fa60baae66

Background

Whipworms and blood flukes combined infect almost one billion people in developing countries. Only a handful of anthelmintic drugs are currently available to treat these infections effectively; there is therefore an urgent need for new generations of anthelmintic compounds. Medicinal plants have presented as a viable source of new parasiticides. Ajania nubigena, the Bhutanese daisy, has been used in Bhutanese traditional medicine for treating various diseases and our previous studies revealed that small molecules from this plant have antimalarial properties. Encouraged by these findings, we screened four major compounds isolated from A. nubigena for their anthelmintic properties.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we studied four major compounds derived from A. nubigena for their anthelmintic properties against the nematode whipworm Trichuris muris and the platyhelminth blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni using the xWORM assay technique. Of four compounds tested, two compounds—luteolin (3) and (3R,6R)-linalool oxide acetate (1)—showed dual anthelmintic activity against S. mansoni (IC50 range = 5.8–36.9 μg/mL) and T. muris (IC50 range = 9.7–20.4 μg/mL). Using scanning electron microscopy, we determined luteolin as the most efficacious compound against both parasites and additionally was found effective against the schistosomula, the infective stage of S. mansoni (IC50 = 13.3 μg/mL). Luteolin induced tegumental damage to S. mansoni and affected the cuticle, bacillary bands and bacillary glands of T. muris. Our in vivo assessment of luteolin (3) against T. muris infection at a single oral dosing of 100 mg/kg, despite being significantly (27.6%) better than the untreated control group, was markedly weaker than mebendazole (93.1%) in reducing the worm burden in mice.

Conclusions/Significance

Among the four compounds tested, luteolin demonstrated the best broad-spectrum activity against two different helminths—T. muris and S. mansoni—and was effective against juvenile schistosomes, the stage that is refractory to the current gold standard drug, praziquantel. Medicinal chemistry optimisation including cytotoxicity analysis, analogue development and structure-activity relationship studies are warranted and could lead to the identification of more potent chemical entities for the control of parasitic helminths of humans and animals.

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<![CDATA[Epigenetic Activation of Antibacterial Property of an Endophytic Streptomyces coelicolor Strain AZRA 37 and Identification of the Induced Protein Using MALDI TOF MS/MS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da85ab0ee8fa60b9bed1

The endophytic Streptomyces coelicolor strain AZRA 37 was isolated from the surface sterilized root of Azadirachta indica A. Juss., commonly known as neem plant in India. Since only a few reports are available regarding epigenetic modulations of microbial entities, S. coelicolor was treated with different concentrations of 5-azacytidine for this purpose and evaluated for its antibacterial potential against five human pathogenic bacteria (Aeromonas hydrophila IMS/GN11, Enterococcus faecalis IMS/GN7, Salmonella typhi MTCC 3216, Shigella flexneri ATCC 12022 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923). The crude extract obtained from cultures treated with 25 μM concentration of 5-azacytidine, was found effective against all five pathogenic bacteria tested while the untreated control was only active against 3 pathogenic bacteria. HPLC analysis of crude compounds from treated cultures showed a greater number of compounds than that of the control. Extraction of whole cell protein and its SDS PAGE analysis showed an additional major protein band in 25 μM 5-azacytidine treated culture and MALDI TOF MS/MS analysis revealed that this protein belongs to the porin family.

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<![CDATA[Changes in the leaf proteome profile of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal in response to Alternaria alternata infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be02d1

Withania somnifera is a high value medicinal plant which is used against large number of ailments. The medicinal properties of the plant attributes to a wide array of important secondary metabolites. The plant is predominantly infected with leaf spot pathogen Alternaria alternata, which leads to substantial biodeterioration of pharmaceutically important metabolites. To develop an effective strategy to combat this disease, proteomics based approach could be useful. Hence, in the present study, three different protein extraction methods tris-buffer based, phenol based and trichloroacetic acid-acetone (TCA-acetone) based method were comparatively evaluated for two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) analysis of W. somnifera. TCA-acetone method was found to be most effective and was further used to identify differentially expressed proteins in response to fungal infection. Thirty-eight differentially expressed proteins were identified by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF/TOF MS/MS). The known proteins were categorized into eight different groups based on their function and maximum proteins belonged to energy and metabolism, cell structure, stress and defense and RNA/DNA categories. Differential expression of some key proteins were also crosschecked at transcriptomic level by using qRT-PCR and were found to be consistent with the 2-DE data. These outcomes enable us to evaluate modifications that take place at the proteomic level during a compatible host pathogen interaction. The comparative proteome analysis conducted in this paper revealed the involvement of many key proteins in the process of pathogenesis and further investigation of these identified proteins could assist in the discovery of new strategies for the development of pathogen resistance in the plant.

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<![CDATA[MicroRNA from Moringa oleifera: Identification by High Throughput Sequencing and Their Potential Contribution to Plant Medicinal Value]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa8ab0ee8fa60ba8417

Moringa oleifera is a widespread plant with substantial nutritional and medicinal value. We postulated that microRNAs (miRNAs), which are endogenous, noncoding small RNAs regulating gene expression at the post-transcriptional level, might contribute to the medicinal properties of plants of this species after ingestion into human body, regulating human gene expression. However, the knowledge is scarce about miRNA in Moringa. Furthermore, in order to test the hypothesis on the pharmacological potential properties of miRNA, we conducted a high-throughput sequencing analysis using the Illumina platform. A total of 31,290,964 raw reads were produced from a library of small RNA isolated from M. oleifera seeds. We identified 94 conserved and two novel miRNAs that were validated by qRT-PCR assays. Results from qRT-PCR trials conducted on the expression of 20 Moringa miRNA showed that are conserved across multiple plant species as determined by their detection in tissue of other common crop plants. In silico analyses predicted target genes for the conserved miRNA that in turn allowed to relate the miRNAs to the regulation of physiological processes. Some of the predicted plant miRNAs have functional homology to their mammalian counterparts and regulated human genes when they were transfected into cell lines. To our knowledge, this is the first report of discovering M. oleifera miRNAs based on high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analysis and we provided new insight into a potential cross-species control of human gene expression. The widespread cultivation and consumption of M. oleifera, for nutritional and medicinal purposes, brings humans into close contact with products and extracts of this plant species. The potential for miRNA transfer should be evaluated as one possible mechanism of action to account for beneficial properties of this valuable species.

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<![CDATA[Authentication of Herbal Supplements Using Next-Generation Sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3eab0ee8fa60bd5ef4

Background

DNA-based testing has been gaining acceptance as a tool for authentication of a wide range of food products; however, its applicability for testing of herbal supplements remains contentious.

Methods

We utilized Sanger and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) for taxonomic authentication of fifteen herbal supplements representing three different producers from five medicinal plants: Echinacea purpurea, Valeriana officinalis, Ginkgo biloba, Hypericum perforatum and Trigonella foenum-graecum. Experimental design included three modifications of DNA extraction, two lysate dilutions, Internal Amplification Control, and multiple negative controls to exclude background contamination. Ginkgo supplements were also analyzed using HPLC-MS for the presence of active medicinal components.

Results

All supplements yielded DNA from multiple species, rendering Sanger sequencing results for rbcL and ITS2 regions either uninterpretable or non-reproducible between the experimental replicates. Overall, DNA from the manufacturer-listed medicinal plants was successfully detected in seven out of eight dry herb form supplements; however, low or poor DNA recovery due to degradation was observed in most plant extracts (none detected by Sanger; three out of seven–by NGS). NGS also revealed a diverse community of fungi, known to be associated with live plant material and/or the fermentation process used in the production of plant extracts. HPLC-MS testing demonstrated that Ginkgo supplements with degraded DNA contained ten key medicinal components.

Conclusion

Quality control of herbal supplements should utilize a synergetic approach targeting both DNA and bioactive components, especially for standardized extracts with degraded DNA. The NGS workflow developed in this study enables reliable detection of plant and fungal DNA and can be utilized by manufacturers for quality assurance of raw plant materials, contamination control during the production process, and the final product. Interpretation of results should involve an interdisciplinary approach taking into account the processes involved in production of herbal supplements, as well as biocomplexity of plant-plant and plant-fungal biological interactions.

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<![CDATA[Predicting the Potential Distribution of Polygala tenuifolia Willd. under Climate Change in China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db42ab0ee8fa60bd708e

Global warming has created opportunities and challenges for the survival and development of species. Determining how climate change may impact multiple ecosystem levels and lead to various species adaptations is necessary for both biodiversity conservation and sustainable biological resource utilization. In this study, we employed Maxent to predict changes in the habitat range and altitude of Polygala tenuifolia Willd. under current and future climate scenarios in China. Four representative concentration pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5) were modeled for two time periods (2050 and 2070). The model inputs included 732 presence points and nine sets of environmental variables under the current conditions and the four RCPs in 2050 and 2070. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) was used to evaluate model performance. All of the AUCs were greater than 0.80, thereby placing these models in the “very good” category. Using a jackknife analysis, the precipitation in the warmest quarter, annual mean temperature, and altitude were found to be the top three variables that affect the range of P. tenuifolia. Additionally, we found that the predicted highly suitable habitat was in reasonable agreement with its actual distribution. Furthermore, the highly suitable habitat area was slowly reduced over time.

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<![CDATA[The coexistence of traditional medicine and biomedicine: A study with local health experts in two Brazilian regions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc71c

This study investigated the combined use of traditional medicine and biomedicine by local experts in Chapada do Araripe communities (Ceará State) and maroon communities (Santa Catarina State), Brazil. The objective was to understand the perception of local health specialists regarding the number of healers, demand for healers and use of medicinal plants, and the dependence of different environments to obtain such plants. We also aimed to understand the role of medicinal plants to treat different categories of diseases and if there is a complementary use of medicinal plants and allopathic biomedicine, according to the context of each group. The research was conducted with local health specialists that answered structured interviews, created free lists and participated in guided tours to collect cited plants. Sixty-six local health specialists were identified in the Araripe communities and 22 specialists in the maroon communities. In the maroon communities, a greater number of specialists thought there was a decrease in the number and demand for healers, as well as the use of medicinal plants, due to changes in traditional livelihoods, since they are located in a region where the effects of the modernization were more intense. In the Chapada do Araripe communities the specialists knew more plants extracted from native vegetation, whereas in the maroon communities cultivated plants were better known, which may reflect the environmental conditions and the history of each region. Medicinal plants are preferred to treat simpler health problems that do not require medical care, such as gastrointestinal problems, general pain, flues and colds. The biomedicine is used principally for problems with blood pressure, general pains and endocrine and nutritional diseases. Even with the particularities of each region, in general the use of medicinal plants and biomedicines occurred in a complementary form in both regions; however, this coexistence may result from these different contexts. This study also found that there was knowledge and appreciation for traditional health practices in both regions.

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<![CDATA[Phytochemical investigation of Aloe pulcherrima roots and evaluation for its antibacterial and antiplasmodial activities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc1e4

Medicinal plants with documented traditional uses remain an important source for the treatment of a wide range of ailments. Evidence shows that majority of the Ethiopian population are still dependent on traditional medicine. Aloe pulcherrima Gilbert & Sebsebe is one of the endemic Aloe species traditionally used for the treatment of malaria and wound healing in central, Southern and Northern part of Ethiopia. The aim of the current study was, therefore, to isolate active compounds from roots of A. pulcherrima and evaluate for their antibacterial and antiplasmodial activities using standard test strains. Bioassay-guided sequential extraction and column chrom-atographic separation were employed for the isolation of bioactive pure compounds. The structures of the compounds were determined by 1D and 2D NMR spectro-scopic techniques. Disk diffusion method was employed to evaluate the antibacterial activities of the isolated compounds against four bacterial strains specifically (Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Escherichia coli ATCC 35218, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853). The malaria SYBR Green I-based in vitro assay technique was used for in vitro antiplasmodial activity evaluation of the compounds against chloroquine resistant (D6) and -sensitive (W2) strains of P. falciparum. Three compounds, chrysophanol, aloesaponarin I and aloesaponarin II were isolated from the acetone extracts of roots of A. pulcherrima. Evaluation of antibacterial activities revealed that aloesaponarin I and aloesaponarin II had significant activities against all the bacterial strains with inhibition zone diameters ranging from 18–27 mm as compared to the reference drug (gentamicin), which displayed inhibition zone diameter ranging between 20 mm (B. subtilis) and 25 mm (P. aeruginosa). The isolated compounds showed moderate in vitro antiplasmodial activity against both chloroquine resistant (W2) -sensitive (D6) strains. Isolation of chrysophanol, aloesaponarin I and aloesaponarin II from roots of A. pulcherrima is the first report of its kind. The finding could be used for further comprehensive evaluation of the isolated compounds for their antibacterial and antimalarial activities besides consideration of the same for potent drug development.

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<![CDATA[Intracultural Differences in Local Botanical Knowledge and Knowledge Loss among the Mexican Isthmus Zapotecs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f1ab0ee8fa60b6e790

This study reports on the socio-demographic and locality factors that influence ethnobiological knowledge in three communities of Zapotec indigenous people of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico. It uses local botanical nomenclature as a proxy for general ethnobiological knowledge. In each of these communities (one urban and two rural), 100 adult men were interviewed aided with a field herbarium. Fifty had a background in farming, and 50 worked in the secondary or tertiary sector as their main economic activity, totaling 300 interviews. Using a field herbarium with samples of 30 common and rare wild regional species, we documented visual recognition, knowledge of the local life form, generic and specific names and uses (five knowledge levels measuring knowledge depth). The relationship between sociodemographic variables and knowledge was analyzed with simple correlations. Differences between the three communities and the five knowledge levels were then evaluated with a discriminant analysis. A general linear analysis identified factors and covariables that influenced the observed differences. Differences between the groups with different economic activities were estimated with a t-test for independent samples. Most of the relationships found between sociodemographic variables and plant knowledge were expected: age and rurality were positively related with knowledge and years of formal schooling was negatively related. However, the somewhat less rural site had more traditional knowledge due to local circumstances. The general linear model explained 70–77% of the variation, a high value. It showed that economic activity was by far the most important factor influencing knowledge, by a factor of five. The interaction of locality and economic activity followed. The discriminant analysis assigned interviewees correctly to their localities in 94% of the cases, strengthening the evidence for intracultural variation. Both sociodemographic and historic intracultural differences heavily influence local knowledge.

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<![CDATA[De Novo Transcriptome Analysis of Medicinally Important Plantago ovata Using RNA-Seq]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da45ab0ee8fa60b8b958

Plantago ovata is an economically and medicinally important plant of the family Plantaginaceae. It is used extensively for the production of seed husk for its application in pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries. In the present study, the transcriptome of P. ovata ovary was sequenced using Illumina Genome Analyzer platform to characterize the mucilage biosynthesis pathway in the plant. De novo assembly was carried out using Oases followed by velvet. A total of 46,955 non-redundant transcripts (≥100 bp) using ~29 million high-quality paired end reads were generated. Functional categorization of these transcripts revealed the presence of several genes involved in various biological processes like metabolic pathways, mucilage biosynthesis, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and antioxidants. In addition, simple sequence-repeat motifs, non-coding RNAs and transcription factors were also identified. Expression profiling of some genes involved in mucilage biosynthetic pathway was performed in different tissues of P. ovata using Real time PCR analysis. The study has resulted in a valuable resource for further studies on gene expression, genomics and functional genomics in P. ovata.

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<![CDATA[The Bacterial Signature of Leptospermum scoparium (Mānuka) Reveals Core and Accessory Communities with Bioactive Properties]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1fab0ee8fa60b7e239

Leptospermum scoparium or mānuka is a New Zealand native medicinal plant that produces an essential oil with antimicrobial properties. This is the first study to investigate the structure and bioactivity of endophytic bacteria in mānuka by using a combination of cultivation-independent (DGGE) and dependent approaches. A total of 23 plants were sampled across three sites. Plants were considered either immature (3–8 years) or mature (>20 years). The endophyte community structure and richness was affected by plant tissue and bacterial communities became more stable and uniform as plant maturity increased. A total of 192 culturable bacteria were recovered from leaves, stems and roots. Some bacterial isolates showed in vitro biocontrol activity against two fungal pathogens, Ilyonectria liriodendri and Neofusicoccum luteum and a bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae. A high proportion of bacterial endophytes could produce siderophores and solubilise phosphate in vitro. Gammaproteobacteria was the most variable class, representing the majority of cultivated bacteria with bioactivity.

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<![CDATA[Effect of plant diversity on the diversity of soil organic compounds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdba1c

The effect of plant diversity on aboveground organisms and processes was largely studied but there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the link between plant diversity and soil characteristics. Here, we analyzed the effect of plant identity and diversity on the diversity of extractible soil organic compounds (ESOC) using 87 experimental grassland plots with different levels of plant diversity and based on a pool of over 50 plant species. Two pools of low molecular weight organic compounds, LMW1 and LMW2, were characterized by GC-MS and HPLC-DAD, respectively. These pools include specific organic acids, fatty acids and phenolics, with more organic acids in LMW1 and more phenolics in LMW2. Plant effect on the diversity of LMW1 and LMW2 compounds was strong and weak, respectively. LMW1 richness observed for bare soil was lower than that observed for all planted soils; and the richness of these soil compounds increased twofold when dominant plant species richness increased from 1 to 6. Comparing the richness of LMW1 compounds observed for a range of plant mixtures and for plant monocultures of species present in these mixtures, we showed that plant species richness increases the richness of these ESOC mainly through complementarity effects among plant species associated with contrasted spectra of soil compounds. This could explain previously reported effects of plant diversity on the diversity of soil heterotrophic microorganisms.

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<![CDATA[Medicinal Plant Diversity and Inter-Cultural Interactions between Indigenous Guarani, Criollos and Polish Migrants in the Subtropics of Argentina]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0fab0ee8fa60b79222

Numerous studies highlight the importance of phytotherapy for indigenous and non-indigenous people in different parts of the world. In this work we analyze the richness (number of species), diversity (plant identity and the number of illnesses for which it is used) and similarity of plant species and illnesses treated with them, in order to contribute new data and insight into the importance of plant medicines to the local medical systems of people living in Misiones province, in the subtropics of Argentina. Three sympatric groups were compared: Guarani Indians, Criollos (mestizos) and Polish migrants. Quantitative scrutiny was focused on both primary and secondary sources. The similarity and diversity of medicinal plants and uses between groups was calculated by applying the Sørensen quantitative coefficient and the Shannon-Wiener index, respectively. In order to identify the characteristic plant species used by each group, the Cultural Importance and Prevalence Value (CIPV) was calculated based on the species Indicator Value (IndVal), which combines a species relative abundance with its relative frequency of occurrence in the various groups, and modified according to the type of the analyzed data. The important finding is a great variation in the number of species used by the study groups. Altogether, 509 botanical species were registered: Guarani (397), Criollos (243) and Polish migrants (137). For all groups, the use of native medicinal plants prevailed. The Guarani appear to be the local experts in use of medicinal plants. There is the significant difference in the number of treated illnesses by each taxon among three groups. Criollos and Polish migrants exhibit the greatest similarity in illnesses treated with medicinal plants. These groups share a corpus of knowledge related to illness nosology, and have a symptomatic approach to illness treatment. The Guarani have an etiological approach to illness diagnosis and healing, which may be viewed as a barrier to the exchange of knowledge about home medicine with other ethnic groups of Misiones.

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