Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Applications

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 15649

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Campus Fernando May-Chillan, Chillán, Chile
Interests: biopesticides; antioxidants; enzymes inhibition; neurotoxins; ecotoxicology; secondary metabolites; antifungal; antibacterial; nutraceuticals; natural anticancer
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Guest Editor
School of Food and Biological Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
Interests: natural products; antioxidation; functional food; human health
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, GR-26504 Rion, Patras, Greece
Interests: discovery and development of small organic molecules and of natural product analogues or derivatives with anticancer, antibacterial and antiparasitic activity; synthesis of multitarget inhibitors and of hybrids or bioconjugates aiming at improvement of the pharmacological profile of one or more bioactive molecules
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nature has served as a source of a large number of secondary metabolites that are used as medicines, agrochemicals (insecticides and herbicides) and as precursors for various industrial products. Plant-derived products have been an endless array of entities with large chemical frameworks displaying various modes of action against various organisms. The presence of diverse patterns of pharmacophores in plant-derived compounds with biologically relevant molecular properties results in frequent interactions with relevant targets. Therefore, exploration of plant-derived compounds, as well as plant–insect interactions, has led to knowledge of new leading therapeutic and agrochemical candidates useful in illustrating the continuing value of plant-derived secondary metabolites as viable scaffolds for modern new product development.

This Special Issue highlights the potential of plant extracts, secondary metabolites, and derivatives thereof as biopesticides (IGR, antifeedant and insecticides), antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, and enzyme-inhibiting entities with novel mechanisms of action, particularly those with selective target modulation.

The current Special Issue brings together ecologists, pharmacologists, chemists, toxicologists, biologists, computer-aided drug design scientists, and clinicians working as a multidisciplinary team in diverse areas with multiple applications of secondary metabolites.

Prof. Dr. Carlos L. Cespedes-Acuña
Dr. Gokhan Zengin
Prof. Dr. Zhaojun Wei
Prof. Dr. Constantinos Athanassopoulos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • plant extracts
  • plant-derived compounds
  • antibacterial mechanism of action
  • antifungal mechanism of action, resistant strains
  • synthetic derivatives
  • multidrug resistance

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 1158 KiB  
Article
Inducing the Production of Secondary Metabolites by Foliar Application of Methyl Jasmonate in Peppermint
by Wafae Kandoudi, Szilvia Tavaszi-Sárosi and Eva Németh-Zámboriné
Plants 2023, 12(12), 2339; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12122339 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Mentha x piperita is a major source of secondary metabolites (SMs), and developing tools to enhance these compounds would be beneficial to meet the increasing demand in the industry. Elicitation by plant hormones became a new strategy to reach this goal. Three experiments [...] Read more.
Mentha x piperita is a major source of secondary metabolites (SMs), and developing tools to enhance these compounds would be beneficial to meet the increasing demand in the industry. Elicitation by plant hormones became a new strategy to reach this goal. Three experiments in a climatic chamber and two experiments in an open field were conducted with peppermint to explore the effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJa) on the essential oil (EO) content, EO composition, and the total phenolic content (TPC). The treatment was applied for all experiments by spraying the aerial parts of the plants with a dosage of 2 mM MeJa twice. The treatment influenced all the parameters studied in the trials. The volatile content increased by 9–35%; however, in one trial it remained unchanged. The treatment also affected the main compounds of the EO. Menthone increased significantly in two trials while pulegone and menthofuran decreased. In the case of menthol, the change may also be influenced by the phenological and developmental stages of the plants. In the majority of cases, the TPC was also elevated considerably due to the treatments. MeJa treatments may have promising effects in influencing the accumulation of biologically active compounds and the quality of the drug; therefore, further systematic studies are needed to optimize the technology in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Applications)
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15 pages, 1098 KiB  
Article
Antiquorum and Antibiofilm Activities of Piper bogotense C. DC. against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Identification of Bioactive Compounds
by Andrés G. Sierra-Quitian, Lida V. Hernandez-Moreno, Ludy C. Pabon-Baquero, Juliet A. Prieto-Rodriguez and Oscar J. Patiño-Ladino
Plants 2023, 12(9), 1901; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12091901 - 6 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1827
Abstract
The present study describes the anti-biofilm and quorum sensing (QS) inhibitory potential of extracts and chemical constituents from Piper bogotense. Antibiofilm potential was determined through crystal violet assay against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, while QS inhibition efficacy was determined through violacein inhibition assay [...] Read more.
The present study describes the anti-biofilm and quorum sensing (QS) inhibitory potential of extracts and chemical constituents from Piper bogotense. Antibiofilm potential was determined through crystal violet assay against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, while QS inhibition efficacy was determined through violacein inhibition assay using Chromobacterium violaceum as a bacterial model. Additionally, this study reports the effects of the chemical constituents isolated in P. bogotense against various virulent factors associated with QS, such as the percentage decrease in pyocyanin, elastase, and protease production. The chemical study led to the isolation and identification of two prenylated benzoic acids (1 and 2) and a prenylated hydroquinone 3, of which compounds 1 and 2 are reported for the first time for P. bogotense. The ethanolic extract and the DCM fraction from P. bogotense stand out for reducing violacein production in C. violaceum, as well as the biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa. Compounds 2 and 3 stand out for having the lowest violacein production (43.8% and 68.3%), as well as the lowest production of virulence factors such as elastase (60.2% and 51.4%) and pyocyanin (39.7% and 33.2%). These results demonstrate the potential of P. bogotense components to be used as an alternative control against multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Applications)
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21 pages, 2203 KiB  
Article
Comparison of In Vitro Antimelanoma and Antimicrobial Activity of 2,3-Indolo-betulinic Acid and Its Glycine Conjugates
by Adelina Lombrea, Alexandra-Denisa Semenescu, Ioana Zinuca Magyari-Pavel, Māris Turks, Jevgeņija Lugiņina, Uldis Peipiņš, Delia Muntean, Cristina Adriana Dehelean, Stefania Dinu and Corina Danciu
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1253; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061253 - 9 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1856
Abstract
Malignant melanoma is one of the most pressing problems in the developing world. New therapeutic agents that might be effective in treating malignancies that have developed resistance to conventional medications are urgently required. Semisynthesis is an essential method for improving the biological activity [...] Read more.
Malignant melanoma is one of the most pressing problems in the developing world. New therapeutic agents that might be effective in treating malignancies that have developed resistance to conventional medications are urgently required. Semisynthesis is an essential method for improving the biological activity and the therapeutic efficacy of natural product precursors. Semisynthetic derivatives of natural compounds are valuable sources of new drug candidates with a variety of pharmacological actions, including anticancer ones. Two novel semisynthetic derivatives of betulinic acid—N-(2,3-indolo-betulinoyl)diglycylglycine (BA1) and N-(2,3-indolo-betulinoyl)glycylglycine (BA2)—were designed and their antiproliferative, cytotoxic, and anti-migratory activity against A375 human melanoma cells was determined in comparison with known N-(2,3-indolo-betulinoyl)glycine (BA3), 2,3-indolo-betulinic acid (BA4) and naturally occurring betulinic acid (BI). A dose-dependent antiproliferative effect with IC50 values that ranged from 5.7 to 19.6 µM was observed in the series of all five compounds including betulinic acid. The novel compounds BA1 (IC50 = 5.7 µM) and BA2 (IC50 = 10.0 µM) were three times and two times more active than the parent cyclic structure B4 and natural BI. Additionally, compounds BA2, BA3, and BA4 possess antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pyogenes ATCC 19615 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 with MIC values in the range of 13–16 µg/mL and 26–32 µg/mL, respectively. On the other hand, antifungal activity toward Candida albicans ATCC 10231 and Candida parapsilosis ATCC 22019 was found for compound BA3 with MIC 29 µg/mL. This is the first report of antibacterial and antifungal activity of 2,3-indolo-betulinic acid derivatives and also the first extended report on their anti-melanoma activity, which among others includes data on anti-migratory activity and shows the significance of amino acid side chain on the observed activity. The obtained data justify further research on the anti-melanoma and antimicrobial activity of 2,3-indolo-betulinic acid derivatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Applications)
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18 pages, 22326 KiB  
Article
Holistic Photoprotection, Broad Spectrum (UVA-UVB), and Biological Effective Protection Factors (BEPFs) from Baccharis antioquensis Hydrolysates Polyphenols
by Yéssica A. Monsalve-Bustamante, Félix López Figueroa, Julia Vega, Bruna Rodrigues Moreira, Miguel Puertas-Mejía and Juan C. Mejía-Giraldo
Plants 2023, 12(5), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12050979 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
Overexposure to solar radiation has become an increasingly worrying problem due to the damage to the skin caused by ultraviolet radiation (UVR). In previous studies, the potential of an extract enriched with glycosylated flavonoids from the endemic Colombian high-mountain plant Baccharis antioquensis as [...] Read more.
Overexposure to solar radiation has become an increasingly worrying problem due to the damage to the skin caused by ultraviolet radiation (UVR). In previous studies, the potential of an extract enriched with glycosylated flavonoids from the endemic Colombian high-mountain plant Baccharis antioquensis as a photoprotector and antioxidant was demonstrated. Therefore, in this work we sought to develop a dermocosmetic formulation with broad-spectrum photoprotection from the hydrolysates and purified polyphenols obtained from this species. Hence, the extraction of its polyphenols with different solvents was evaluated, followed by hydrolysis and purification, in addition to the characterization of its main compounds by HPLC–DAD and HPLC–MS, and evaluation of its photoprotective capacity through the measurement of the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), UVA Protection Factor (UVAPF), other Biological Effective Protection Factors (BEPFs), and its safety through the cytotoxicity. In the dry methanolic extract (DME) and purified methanolic extract (PME), flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol were found, which demonstrated antiradical capacity, as well as UVA–UVB photoprotection and prevention of harmful biological effects, such as elastosis, photoaging, immunosuppression, DNA damage, among others, which demonstrates the potential of the ingredients in this type of extract to be applied in photoprotection dermocosmetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Applications)
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Review

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27 pages, 2960 KiB  
Review
Back to Nature: Medicinal Plants as Promising Sources for Antibacterial Drugs in the Post-Antibiotic Era
by Emad M. Abdallah, Bader Y. Alhatlani, Ralciane de Paula Menezes and Carlos Henrique Gomes Martins
Plants 2023, 12(17), 3077; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12173077 - 28 Aug 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4484
Abstract
Undoubtedly, the advent of antibiotics in the 19th century had a substantial impact, increasing human life expectancy. However, a multitude of scientific investigations now indicate that we are currently experiencing a phase known as the post-antibiotic era. There is a genuine concern that [...] Read more.
Undoubtedly, the advent of antibiotics in the 19th century had a substantial impact, increasing human life expectancy. However, a multitude of scientific investigations now indicate that we are currently experiencing a phase known as the post-antibiotic era. There is a genuine concern that we might regress to a time before antibiotics and confront widespread outbreaks of severe epidemic diseases, particularly those caused by bacterial infections. These investigations have demonstrated that epidemics thrive under environmental stressors such as climate change, the depletion of natural resources, and detrimental human activities such as wars, conflicts, antibiotic overuse, and pollution. Moreover, bacteria possess a remarkable ability to adapt and mutate. Unfortunately, the current development of antibiotics is insufficient, and the future appears grim unless we abandon our current approach of generating synthetic antibiotics that rapidly lose their effectiveness against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Despite their vital role in modern medicine, medicinal plants have served as the primary source of curative drugs since ancient times. Numerous scientific reports published over the past three decades suggest that medicinal plants could serve as a promising alternative to ineffective antibiotics in combating infectious diseases. Over the past few years, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, saponins, and terpenoids have exhibited noteworthy antibacterial potential, primarily through membrane-disruption mechanisms, protein binding, interference with intermediary metabolism, anti-quorum sensing, and anti-biofilm activity. However, to optimize their utilization as effective antibacterial drugs, further advancements in omics technologies and network pharmacology will be required in order to identify optimal combinations among these compounds or in conjunction with antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Applications)
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27 pages, 2109 KiB  
Review
Atrazine Toxicity: The Possible Role of Natural Products for Effective Treatment
by Srijit Das, Hussein Sakr, Isehaq Al-Huseini, Raghu Jetti, Sara Al-Qasmi, Raju Sugavasi and Srinivasa Rao Sirasanagandla
Plants 2023, 12(12), 2278; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12122278 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3409
Abstract
There are various herbicides which were used in the agriculture industry. Atrazine (ATZ) is a chlorinated triazine herbicide that consists of a ring structure, known as the triazine ring, along with a chlorine atom and five nitrogen atoms. ATZ is a water-soluble herbicide, [...] Read more.
There are various herbicides which were used in the agriculture industry. Atrazine (ATZ) is a chlorinated triazine herbicide that consists of a ring structure, known as the triazine ring, along with a chlorine atom and five nitrogen atoms. ATZ is a water-soluble herbicide, which makes it capable of easily infiltrating into majority of the aquatic ecosystems. There are reports of toxic effects of ATZ on different systems of the body but, unfortunately, majority of these scientific reports were documented in animals. The herbicide was reported to enter the body through various routes. The toxicity of the herbicide can cause deleterious effects on the respiratory, reproductive, endocrine, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, and urinary systems of the human body. Alarmingly, few studies in industrial workers showed ATZ exposure leading to cancer. We embarked on the present review to discuss the mechanism of action of ATZ toxicity for which there is no specific antidote or drug. Evidence-based published literature on the effective use of natural products such as lycopene, curcumin, Panax ginseng, Spirulina platensis, Fucoidans, vitamin C, soyabeans, quercetin, L-carnitine, Telfairia occidentalis, vitamin E, Garcinia kola, melatonin, selenium, Isatis indigotica, polyphenols, Acacia nilotica, and Zingiber officinale were discussed in detail. In the absence of any particular allopathic drug, the present review may open the doors for future drug design involving the natural products and their active compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Natural Products and Their Applications)
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