Topical Collection "Bioactive Compounds in Plants"

A topical collection in Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This collection belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Editors

Dr. Laura Cornara
Website
Collection Editor
Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences (DISTAV), University of Genoa, Corso Europa 26, 16132 Genoa, Italy
Interests: plant anatomy; medicinal plants; ethnobotany; pharmacognosy; phytochemistry
Dr. Antonella Smeriglio
Website SciProfiles
Collection Editor
Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences (CHIBIOFARAM), University of Messina, Via SS Annunziata, 98168 Messina, Italy
Interests: natural compounds; polyphenols; plant extracts; pharmacognosy; functional foods; nutraceuticals; pharmacology; toxicology; antioxidant activity; anti-inflammatory activity; cytoprotective activity; clinical studies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

The journal Plants will jointly be publishing a Topical Collection on bioactive compounds in plants. Plant secondary metabolites are receiving ever-increasing attention due to their several health properties for a multitude of applications, not only for more common uses such as those in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries, but also as new sources of eco-friendly biopesticides. Plant secondary metabolites play an important role as defense mechanisms in response to pathogenic organisms and predatory herbivores, and may also act as herbicides by inhibiting the growth of competing plants.

This Topical Collection will focus on a multidisciplinary approach to the study of plant secondary metabolites, including micro-morphological and histochemical studies aiming to identify and characterize the site of secretion and storage of bioactive compounds in plant tissues. Moreover, extraction and chemical characterization, as well as biological properties by in vitro cell-free and cell-based assays, of phytocomplexes or their isolated bioactive compounds, will be welcome.

Wide fields of application will be considered, including animal and human well-being as well as ecological aspects, also considering the ever-growing interest in the use of plant extracts and molecules of natural origin as biopesticides or for foodstuff management.

Moreover, studies related to the recovery of plant waste products will be also welcome, mainly from agri-food chains, including the agricultural production of medicinal plants. These studies should aim to highlight the potential use of plants and their byproducts as sources of bioactive compounds for animal or human interest, in light of the new concept of circular economy.

Dr. Laura Cornara
Dr. Antonella Smeriglio
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • plant extracts
  • essential oil
  • plant byproducts
  • micro-morphological features
  • histochemical features
  • phytochemical profile
  • bioactive compounds
  • health effects
  • biopesticides
  • circular economy

Published Papers (3 papers)

2020

Open AccessArticle
Comparative and Functional Screening of Three Species Traditionally used as Antidepressants: Valeriana officinalis L., Valeriana jatamansi Jones ex Roxb. and Nardostachys jatamansi (D.Don) DC.
Plants 2020, 9(8), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9080994 - 05 Aug 2020
Abstract
The essential oils (EOs) of three Caprifoliaceae species, the Eurasiatic Valeriana officinalis (Vo), the Himalayan Valeriana jatamansi (Vj) and Nardostachys jatamansi (Nj), are traditionally used to treat neurological disorders. Roots/rhizomes micromorphology, DNA barcoding and EOs phytochemical characterization were carried out, while biological effects [...] Read more.
The essential oils (EOs) of three Caprifoliaceae species, the Eurasiatic Valeriana officinalis (Vo), the Himalayan Valeriana jatamansi (Vj) and Nardostachys jatamansi (Nj), are traditionally used to treat neurological disorders. Roots/rhizomes micromorphology, DNA barcoding and EOs phytochemical characterization were carried out, while biological effects on the nervous system were assessed by acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity and microelectrode arrays (MEA). Nj showed the highest inhibitory activity on AChE (IC50 67.15 μg/mL) followed by Vo (IC50 127.30 μg/mL) and Vj (IC50 246.84 μg/mL). MEA analyses on rat cortical neurons, carried out by recording mean firing rate (MFR) and mean bursting rate (MBR), revealed stronger inhibition by Nj (IC50 18.8 and 11.1 μg/mL) and Vo (16.5 and 22.5 μg/mL), compared with Vj (68.5 and 89.3 μg/mL). These results could be related to different EO compositions, since sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes significantly contribute to the observed effects, but the presence of oxygenated compounds such as aldehydes and ketones is a discriminating factor in determining the order of potency. Our multidisciplinary approach represents an important tool to avoid the adulteration of herbal drugs and permits the evaluation of the effectiveness of EOs that could be used for a wide range of therapeutic applications. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Content of Some Groups of Phenolic Compounds and Biological Activity of Extracts of Various Parts of Heather (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull) at Different Growth Stages
Plants 2020, 9(8), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9080926 - 22 Jul 2020
Abstract
Heather (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull.) is noted for a diverse chemical composition and a broad range of biological activity. The current study was aimed at monitoring changes in the accumulation of certain groups of phenolic compounds in various organs of heather (leaves, [...] Read more.
Heather (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull.) is noted for a diverse chemical composition and a broad range of biological activity. The current study was aimed at monitoring changes in the accumulation of certain groups of phenolic compounds in various organs of heather (leaves, stems, roots, rhizomes, flowers, and seeds) at different growth stages (vegetative, floral budding, flowering, and seed ripening) as well as studying antioxidant (employing the DPPH and FRAP assays) and antibacterial activity of its extracts. The highest total amount of phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids, hydroxycinnamic acids, and proanthocyanidins was detected in leaves and roots at all growth stages, except for the flowering stage. At the flowering stage, the highest content of some groups of phenolic compounds (flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and anthocyanins) was observed in flowers. Highest antioxidant activity was recorded for the flower extracts (about 500 mg of ascorbic acid equivalents per gram according to the DPPH assay) and for the leaf extract at the ripening stage (about 350 mg of ascorbic acid equivalents per gram according to the FRAP assay). Strong correlation was noted between antioxidant activity (DPPH) and the content of anthocyanins (r = 0.75, p ≤ 0.01) as well as between antioxidant activity (FRAP) and the total content of phenolic compounds (r = 0.77, p ≤ 0.01). Leaf extracts and stem extracts turned out to perform antibacterial action against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, whereas root extracts appeared to be active only against B. subtilis, and rhizome extracts against E. coli. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Biodiversity of β-Carboline Profile of Banisteriopsis caapi and Ayahuasca, a Plant and a Brew with Neuropharmacological Potential
Plants 2020, 9(7), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070870 - 09 Jul 2020
Abstract
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive infusion with a large pharmacological application normally prepared with Banisteriopsis caapi, which contains the monoamine oxidase inhibitors β-carbolines, and Psichotria virids, which contains the serotonin receptor agonist N,N dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The objectives of this study were to [...] Read more.
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive infusion with a large pharmacological application normally prepared with Banisteriopsis caapi, which contains the monoamine oxidase inhibitors β-carbolines, and Psichotria virids, which contains the serotonin receptor agonist N,N dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The objectives of this study were to investigate the chemical profile of B. caapi and of ayahuasca collected in various Brazilian regions. In total, 176 plant lianas, of which 159 B. caapi and 33 ayahuasca samples were analyzed. Dried liana samples were powdered, extracted with methanol, diluted, and analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Ayahuasca samples were diluted and analyzed. Mean concentrations in B. caapi were 4.79 mg/g harmine, 0.451 mg/g harmaline, and 2.18 mg/g tetrahydroharmine (THH), with a high variability among the samples (RSD from 78.9 to 170%). Native B. caapi samples showed significantly higher harmine concentrations than cultivated ones, and samples from the Federal District/Goiás had higher THH content than those collected in the State of Acre. The other Malpighiaceae samples did not contain β-carbolines, except for one D. pubipetala sample. Concentrations in ayahuasca samples ranged from 0.109 to 7.11 mg/mL harmine, 0.012 to 0.945 mg/mL harmaline, 0.09 to 3.05 mg/mL THH, and 0.10 to 3.12 mg/mL DMT. The analysis of paired ayahuasca/B. caapi confirmed that harmine is reduced to harmaline and to THH during the brew preparation. This is the largest study conducted with Malpighiaceae samples and showed a large variability in the main β-carbolines present in B. caapi. This biodiversity is a challenge for standardization of the material used in ethnopharmacological studies of B. caapi and ayahuasca. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop