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Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1203; doi:10.3390/molecules21091203

Improvement in Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids Production and Pharmaceutical Quality of Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) by Ultraviolet-B Irradiation

1
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2
Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Yadegar-e-Imam Khomeini (RAH) Shahre Rey Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
3
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 30 August 2016 / Accepted: 3 September 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [899 KB, uploaded 9 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ocimum basilicum L.; UV-B; TFC; TPC; CHS activity; antioxidant activity; antiproliferative activity Ocimum basilicum L.; UV-B; TFC; TPC; CHS activity; antioxidant activity; antiproliferative activity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ghasemzadeh, A.; Ashkani, S.; Baghdadi, A.; Pazoki, A.; Jaafar, H.Z.E.; Rahmat, A. Improvement in Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids Production and Pharmaceutical Quality of Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) by Ultraviolet-B Irradiation. Molecules 2016, 21, 1203.

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