The Combination of Mild Salinity Conditions and Exogenously Applied Phenolics Modulates Functional Traits in Lettuce.
ABSTRACT: The quest for sustainable strategies aimed at increasing the bioactive properties of plant-based foods has grown quickly. In this work, we investigated the impact of exogenously applied phenolics, i.e., chlorogenic acid (CGA), hesperidin (HES), and their combinations (HES + CGA), on Lactuca sativa L. grown under normal- and mild-salinity conditions. To this aim, the phenolic profile, antioxidant properties, and enzyme inhibitory activity were determined. The untargeted metabolomics profiling revealed that lettuce treated with CGA under non-stressed conditions exhibited the highest total phenolic content (35.98 mg Eq./g). Lettuce samples grown under salt stress showed lower phenolic contents, except for lettuce treated with HES or HES + CGA, when comparing the same treatment between the two conditions. Furthermore, the antioxidant capacity was investigated through DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), ABTS (2,20-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate)), and FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) assays, coupled with metal-chelating activity and phosphomolybdenum capacity. An exciting increase in radical scavenging capacity was observed in lettuce treated with exogenous phenolics, in both stress and non-stress conditions. The inhibitory activity of the samples was evaluated against target health-related enzymes, namely cholinesterases (acetylcholinesterase; AChE; butyryl cholinesterase; BChE), tyrosinase, α-amylase, and α-glucosidase. Lettuce treated with HES + CGA under non-stress conditions exhibited the strongest inhibition against AChE and BChE, while the same treatment under salinity conditions resulted in the highest inhibition capacity against α-amylase. Additionally, CGA under non-stress conditions exhibited the best inhibitory effect against tyrosinase. All the functional traits investigated were significantly modulated by exogenous phenolics, salinity, and their combination. In more detail, flavonoids, lignans, and stilbenes were the most affected phenolics, whereas glycosidase enzymes and tyrosinase activity were the most affected among enzyme assays. In conclusion, the exogenous application of phenolics to lettuce represents an effective and green strategy to effectively modulate the phenolic profile, antioxidant activity, and enzyme inhibitory effects in lettuce, deserving future application to produce functional plant-based foods in a sustainable way.
Project description:Considering that functional components of plant foods are mainly secondary-metabolism products, we investigated the shaping of health-promoting compounds in hydroponically grown butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata) as a function of the strength of the nutrient solution utilized. To this aim, untargeted metabolomics profiling, in vitro antioxidant capacity (total phenolics, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS), cupric reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays), and the inhibition of selected enzyme activities were investigated in two butterhead lettuce cultivars with different pigmentation, i.e., green and red Salanova. Full-strength nutrition, together with half- and quarter-strength solutions of macronutrients, was tested. Our results indicate that by reducing the nutrients strength, we could elicit a distinctive shaping of the phenolic profile of lettuce. It is noteworthy that only specific classes of phenolics (namely, lignans and phenolic acids, followed by flavones and anthocyanins) were modulated by the induction of nutritional eustress (fold-change values in the range between -5 and +11). This indicates that specific responses, rather than a generalized induction of phenolic compounds, could be observed. Nonetheless, a genotype-dependent response could be observed, with the red cultivar being much more responsive to nutritional deprivation than the green Salanova lettuce. Indeed, analysis of variance (ANOVA) confirmed a genotype x nutrition interaction in red Salanova (p < 0.001). As a consequence of the changes in phenolic composition, also the antioxidant capacity (p < 0.001) and amylase inhibition (p < 0.001) properties were affected by the growing conditions. However, the effect on cholinesterase and tyrosinase inhibition was poorly affected by the nutritional strength. Provided that yields are not compromised, the application of a controlled nutritional eustress in hydroponically cultivated lettuce may represent a valuable strategy to produce food with tailored functional features in a sustainable manner.
Project description:<i>Mentha</i> species are widely used as food, medicine, spices, and flavoring agents. Thus, chemical composition is an important parameter for assessing the quality of mints. In general, the contents of menthol, menthone, eucalyptol, and limonene comprise one of the major parameters for assessing the quality of commercially important mints. Building further on the phytochemical characterization of the quality of <i>Mentha</i> species, this work was focused on the composition of phenolic compounds in methanolic extracts. Thirteen <i>Mentha</i> species were grown under the same environmental conditions, and their methanolic extracts were subjected to the LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) profiling of phenolics and the testing their biological activities, i.e., antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibition activities, which are important features for the cosmetic industry. The total phenolic content (TPC) ranged from 14.81 ± 1.09 mg GAE (gallic acid equivalents)/g for <i>Mentha cervina</i> to 58.93. ± 8.39 mg GAE/g for <i>Mentha suaveolens</i>. The antioxidant activity of examined <i>Mentha</i> related with the content of the phenolic compounds and ranged from 22.79 ± 1.85 to 106.04 ± 3.26 mg TE (Trolox equivalents)/g for <i>M. cervina</i> and <i>Mentha x villosa</i>, respectively. Additionally, <i>Mentha pulegium</i> (123.89 ± 5.64 mg KAE (kojic acid equivalents)/g) and <i>Mentha x piperita</i> (102.82 ± 15.16 mg KAE/g) showed a strong inhibition of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is related to skin hyperpigmentation. The most abundant compound in all samples was rosmarinic acid, ranging from 1363.38 ± 8323 to 2557.08 ± 64.21 μg/g. In general, the levels of phenolic acids in all examined mint extracts did not significantly differ. On the contrary, the levels of flavonoids varied within the species, especially in the case of hesperidin (from 0.73 ± 0.02 to 109. 39 ± 2.01 μg/g), luteolin (from 1.84 ± 0.11 to 31.03 ± 0.16 μg/g), and kaempferol (from 1.30 ± 0.17 to 33.68 ± 0.81 μg/g). Overall results indicated that all examined mints possess significant amounts of phenolic compounds that are responsible for antioxidant activity and, to some extent, for tyrosinase inhibition activity. Phenolics also proved to be adequate compounds, together with terpenoids, for the characterization of <i>Mentha</i> sp. Additionally, citrus-scented <i>Mentha</i> x <i>villosa</i> could be selected as a good candidate for the food and pharmaceutical industry, especially due its chemical composition and easy cultivation, even in winter continental conditions.
Project description:Consumption of vegetables rich in phenolic compounds has become a useful method to reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer. This study investigated the potential relationship between the alteration of phenolic compounds in lettuce induced by reduced nitrogen supply and its anti-proliferative effects on Caco-2 colorectal cancer cells. Our results showed that phenolic extracts from lettuce grown under low nitrogen conditions (LP) exhibited better anti-proliferative effects against Caco-2 cells, in part, by interfering with the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis, compared with those from lettuce supplied with adequate nitrogen. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis and correlation analysis indicated that the better anticancer activity of LP may be not only related to the increased phenolic content, but also associated with the increased percentage contribution of quercetin to total phenolics. Taken together, alteration of phenolic composition by reduced nitrogen supply can be an effectively strategy for the development of healthy vegetables as anticancer products.
Project description:In a previous study, we investigated the use of shrimp effluents from well water (WW) and diluted seawater (DSW) (both with 2.7 dS m-1 electrical conductivity (EC)), and a hydroponic solution (HS) as the control treatment in greenhouse lettuce production. This new paper completes the previous one by focusing on the quality of lettuce harvested. Compared to the lettuce from the other treatments, WW-lettuce exhibited higher levels of phenolic compounds and a higher antioxidant capacity, mainly in the soluble fraction. The lettuce cultivated with DSW showed no significant difference in total phenolics and flavonoids with respect to the HS lettuce. These results reveal that the functional properties (antioxidant properties, polyphenols and flavonoid content) are even better in the lettuce produced with WW and DSW shrimp effluents. In contrast, agronomical properties (weight, number of leaves and yield) were found to be better in the case of lettuce grown with the hydroponic solution (control).
Project description:Understanding the salt tolerance mechanism in obligate halophytes provides valuable information for conservation and re-habitation of saline areas. Here, we investigated the responses of three obligate halophytes namely <i>Arthrocnemum macrostachyum</i>, <i>Sarcocornia fruticosa</i> and <i>Salicornia europaea</i> to salt stress (0, 100, 200, 400 and 600 mM NaCl) during their vegetative growth with regard to biomass, ions contents (Na<sup>+</sup>, K<sup>+</sup> and Ca<sup>+2</sup>), chlorophyll contents, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and superoxide dismutase, peroxidase and esterase activities. <i>S. europaea</i> showed the lowest biomass, root K<sup>+</sup> content, Chl a/b ratio, and carotenoids under salinity. This reduction of biomass is concomitant with the increase in proline contents and peroxidase activity. On the other hand, the promotion of growth under low salinity and maintenance under high salinity (200 and 400 Mm NaCl) in <i>A. Macrostachyum</i> and <i>S. fruticosa</i> are accompanied by an increase in Chl a/b ratio, carotenoids, phenolics contents, and esterase activity. Proline content was decreased under high salinity (400 and 600 mM NaCl) in both species compared to <i>S. europaea</i>, while peroxidase showed the lowest activity in both plants under all salt levels except under 600 mM NaCl in <i>Arthrocnemum macrostachyum</i> compared to <i>S. europaea</i>. These results suggest two differential strategies; (1) the salt tolerance is due to activation of antioxidant enzymes and biosynthesis of proline in <i>S. europaea</i>, (2) the salt tolerance in <i>A. macrostachyum</i>, <i>S. fruticosa</i> are due to rearrangement of chlorophyll ratio and biosynthesis of antioxidant compounds (carotenoids, phenolics and flavonoids) which their cost seem to need less energy than activation of antioxidant enzymes. The differential behavior in halophytes of the same habitat confirms that the tolerance mechanism in halophytes is species-specific which provides new insight about the restoration strategy of saline areas.
Project description:A solid-phase extraction (SPE) technique was developed and optimised for isolation and concentration of extractable and bound phenolic acids from germinated spelt seeds, for analysis by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Samples initially underwent solvent extraction under different conditions to maximise the yield of phenolic antioxidants. Optimal extraction conditions for extractable phenolics were absolute methanol as solvent, sample-to-methanol ratio 1:9, and reconstitution in non-acidified water. The bound phenolics were extracted from sample pellets using hydrolysis with 2 M NaOH, acidification of the hydrolysate with formic acid, and simultaneous isolation and purification using Strata X polymeric RP tubes. Compared to liquid-liquid extraction, this direct SPE protocol has significant advantages in terms of higher extraction efficiencies of total and individual phenolics and their antioxidant activities. These data suggest that direct SPE represents a rapid and reliable method for quantitative analysis of both the extractable and the commonly overlooked bound phenolics in <i>Triticum spelta</i> seeds.
Project description:Isodon rugosus (Wall. ex Benth.) Codd accumulates large amounts of phenolics and pentacyclic triterpenes. The present study deals with the in vitro callus induction from stem and leaf explants of I. rugosus under various plant growth regulators (PGRs) for the production of antioxidant and anti-ageing compounds. Among all the tested PGRs, thidiazuron (TDZ) used alone or in conjunction with ?-napthalene acetic acid (NAA) induced highest callogenesis in stem-derived explants, as compared to leaf-derived explants. Stem-derived callus culture displayed maximum total phenolic content and antioxidant activity under optimum hormonal combination (3.0 mg/L TDZ + 1.0 mg/L NAA). HPLC analysis revealed the presence of plectranthoic acid (373.92 µg/g DW), oleanolic acid (287.58 µg/g DW), betulinic acid (90.51 µg/g DW), caffeic acid (91.71 µg/g DW), and rosmarinic acid (1732.61 µg/g DW). Complete antioxidant and anti-aging potential of extracts with very contrasting phytochemical profiles were investigated. Correlation analyses revealed rosmarinic acid as the main contributor for antioxidant activity and anti-aging hyaluronidase, advance glycation end-products inhibitions and SIRT1 activation, whereas, pentacyclic triterpenoids were correlated with elastase, collagenase, and tyrosinase inhibitions. Altogether, these results clearly evidenced the great valorization potential of I. rugosus calli for the production of antioxidant and anti-aging bioactive extracts for cosmetic applications.
Project description:Phenolics present in grapes have been explored as cosmeceutical principles, due to their antioxidant activity and ability to inhibit enzymes relevant for skin ageing. The winemaking process generates large amounts of waste, and the recovery of bioactive compounds from residues and their further incorporation in cosmetics represents a promising market opportunity for wine producers and may contribute to a sustainable development of the sector. The extracts obtained from grape marc and wine lees, using solid-liquid (SL) extraction with and without microwave (MW) pretreatment of the raw material, were characterized in terms of antioxidant activity through chemical (ORAC/HOSC/HORAC) and cell-based (keratinocytes-HaCaT; fibroblasts-HFF) assays. Furthermore, their inhibitory capacity towards specific enzymes involved in skin ageing (elastase; MMP-1; tyrosinase) was evaluated. The total phenolic and anthocyanin contents were determined by colorimetric assays, and HPLC-DAD-MS/MS was performed to identify the main compounds. The MW pretreatment prior to conventional SL extraction led to overall better outcomes. The red wine lees extracts presented the highest phenolic content (3 to 6-fold higher than grape marc extracts) and exhibited the highest antioxidant capacity, being also the most effective inhibitors of elastase, MMP-1 and tyrosinase. The results support that winemaking waste streams are valuable sources of natural ingredients with the potential for cosmeceutical applications.
Project description:The whole meal flour of wheat is rich in phenolic acids, which provide a relevant antioxidant activity to food products. Aim of this research was to assess the influence of processing on phenolic acid content and antioxidant activity of whole meal flour water biscuits and puffed kernels of einkorn and bread wheat. To this end, the evolution of syringaldehyde, ferulic, vanillic, syringic, p-coumaric, p-hydroxybenzoic, and caffeic acids was studied during manufacturing. Overall, from flour to water biscuit, the total soluble conjugated phenolic acids increased slightly in einkorn, while the insoluble bound phenolic acids decreased in all the accessions as a consequence of losses during the mixing step. In the puffed kernels, instead, the total soluble conjugated phenolic acids increased markedly, while the bound phenolics did not show any clear change, evidencing their high thermal stability. The antioxidant activity, measured by FRAP and ABTS, increased during processing and was highest under the most drastic puffing conditions.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Excessive soil salinity is an important problem for agriculture, however, salt tolerance is a complex trait that is not easily bred into plants. Exposure of cultivated tomato to salt stress has been reported to result in increased antioxidant content and activity. Salt tolerance of the related wild species, Solanum pennellii, has also been associated with similar changes in antioxidants. In this work, S. lycopersicum M82, S. pennellii LA716 and a S. pennellii introgression line (IL) population were evaluated for growth and their levels of antioxidant activity (total water-soluble antioxidant activity), major antioxidant compounds (phenolic and flavonoid contents) and antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and peroxidase) under both control and salt stress (150 mM NaCl) conditions. These data were then used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) responsible for controlling the antioxidant parameters under both stress and nonstress conditions.<h4>Results</h4>Under control conditions, cultivated tomato had higher levels of all antioxidants (except superoxide dismutase) than S. pennellii. However, under salt stress, the wild species showed greater induction of all antioxidants except peroxidase. The ILs showed diverse responses to salinity and proved very useful for the identification of QTL. Thus, 125 loci for antioxidant content under control and salt conditions were detected. Eleven of the total antioxidant activity and phenolic content QTL matched loci identified in an independent study using the same population, thereby reinforcing the validity of the loci. In addition, the growth responses of the ILs were evaluated to identify lines with favorable growth and antioxidant profiles.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Plants have a complex antioxidant response when placed under salt stress. Some loci control antioxidant content under all conditions while others are responsible for antioxidant content only under saline or nonsaline conditions. The localization of QTL for these traits and the identification of lines with specific antioxidant and growth responses may be useful for breeding potentially salt tolerant tomato cultivars having higher antioxidant levels under nonstress and salt stress conditions.