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Diversity 2018, 10(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10030053

Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Potential Differences between Cynomorium coccineum L. Growing in Italy and in Tunisia: Effect of Environmental Stress

1
LEBIOMAT, Faculty of Sciences, University of Sfax, Sfax 3029, Tunisia
2
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy
3
Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
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Abstract

Cynomorium coccineum is a parasitic plant that has been known for centuries in ethnopharmacology. However, its biological activities have been scarcely studied, particularly in the case of plant grown in North Africa. Thus, we compared the chemical composition and antioxidant potential of C. coccineum taken from two regions characterized by very different climates: the Tataouine region in southeast Tunisia, which lies near the desert, and Sardinia in south Italy, which lies near the coast. The antioxidant potential of freeze-dried specimens from the hexane, ethyl acetate, acetone, methanolic, and aqueous extracts was tested using both electron transfer (ET) methods (i.e., TEAC-ABTS, FRAP, and DPPH) and hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) assay (ORAC-PYR). The metabolic profiles of both the methanolic and aqueous extracts were further investigated by 1H NMR spectroscopy. We also obtained fixed oils by supercritical fractioned extraction (SFE) with CO2. GC and HPLC were then used combined to determine the fatty acids profile. All extracts showed significantly different antioxidant capacities. 1H NMR spectroscopy showed evidence for the presence of amino acids, organic acids, and carbohydrates. The main fatty acids in the oils were 18:1 n-9, 18:2 n-6, 16:0, and 18:3 n-3. All the results showed a difference in chemical composition that influenced the total antioxidant power and the biological activity, verifying that climate affects the chemical composition of plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cynomorium coccineum; tarthuth; maltese mushroom; parasitic plants; antioxidant; secondary metabolites Cynomorium coccineum; tarthuth; maltese mushroom; parasitic plants; antioxidant; secondary metabolites
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Ben Attia, I.; Zucca, P.; Cesare Marincola, F.; Piras, A.; Rosa, A.; Chaieb, M.; Rescigno, A. Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Potential Differences between Cynomorium coccineum L. Growing in Italy and in Tunisia: Effect of Environmental Stress. Diversity 2018, 10, 53.

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