Project description:The composition and content of sugar play a pivotal role in goji berry (<i>Lycium barbarum</i> L.) fruits, determining fruit quality. Long-term exposure of goji berry to elevated CO<sub>2</sub> (eCO<sub>2</sub>) was frequently demonstrated to reduce sugar content and secondary metabolites. In order to understand the regulatory mechanisms and improve the quality of fruit in the changing climate, it is essential to characterize sugar metabolism genes that respond to eCO<sub>2</sub>. The objectives of this study were to clone full-length cDNA of three sugar metabolism genes-<i>LBGAE</i> (<i>Lycium barbarum</i> UDP-glucuronate 4-epimerase), <i>LBGALA</i> (<i>Lycium barbarum</i> alpha-galactosidase), and <i>LBMS</i> (<i>Lycium barbarum</i> malate synthase)-that were previously identified responding to eCO<sub>2</sub>, and to analyze sequence characteristics and expression regulation patterns. Sugar metabolism enzymes regulated by these genes were also estimated along with various carbohydrates from goji berry fruits grown under ambient (400 ?mol mol<sup>-1</sup>) and elevated (700 ?mol mol<sup>-1</sup>) CO<sub>2</sub> for 90 and 120 days. Homology-based sequence analysis revealed that the protein-contained functional domains are similar to sugar transport regulation and had a high sequence homology with other Solanaceae species. The sucrose metabolism-related enzyme's activity varied significantly from ambient to eCO<sub>2</sub> in 90-day and 120-day samples along with sugars. This study provides fundamental information on sugar metabolism genes to eCO<sub>2</sub> in goji berry to enhance fruit quality to climate change.
Project description:Background and Aim:Increasing energy expenditure is an effective strategy for the prevention of obesity. In this respect, Lycium barbarum (goji berry) is of interest, as it has been shown to increase postprandial oxygen consumption. Although this suggests that energy expenditure was also increased, energy expenditure and substrate oxidation can only be assessed accurately when both oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production are measured. We therefore investigated the effects of a single dose of Lycium barbarum fruit on postprandial energy expenditure and substrate oxidation in a randomized, double-blind crossover trial. In addition, markers of lipid and glucose metabolism were measured. Methods:Seventeen healthy, overweight men received in a random order a meal containing 25?grams of dried Lycium barbarum fruit or a control meal matched for caloric content and macronutrient composition. Energy expenditure and the respiratory quotient were determined using indirect calorimetry before and up to 4?hours after meal intake. Blood was sampled before and after meal intake at regular intervals for analyses of plasma glucose, serum triacylglycerol, and free fatty acid concentrations. Results:Energy expenditure significantly increased after the Lycium barbarum and control meal, but no differences were found between the meals (p=0.217). Postprandial changes in respiratory quotient (p=0.719) and concentrations of glucose (p=0.663), triacylglycerol (p=0.391), and free fatty acids (p=0.287) were also not affected by Lycium barbarum intake. Conclusions:A single dose of Lycium barbarum does not affect postprandial energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and markers for lipid and glucose metabolism in healthy, overweight men.
Project description:"Goji" (Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense) is a generic name for medical plants with a long historical background in the traditional Chinese medicine. With the emerging trend of "Superfoods" several years ago, Goji berries soon became an established product in European countries and not only are the most popular product of traditional Chinese medicine outside of China but to this day one of the symbols of the entire "Superfood" trend. However, since Goji is an umbrella term for different plant species that are closely related, mislabeling and adulterations (unconsciously or purposely) are possible. We carefully verified the identity of Goji reference plant material based on morphological traits, mainly floral structures of several inflorescences of each individual, in order to create a robust background for the downstream applications that were used on those reference plants and additionally on commercial Goji products. We report morphological and molecular based strategies for the differentiation of Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense. The two different Goji species vary significantly in seed size, with an almost double average seed area in Lycium chinense compared to Lycium barbarum. Differences could be traced on the molecular level as well; using the psbA-trnH barcoding marker, we detected a single nucleotide substitution that was used to develop an easy one-step differentiation tool based on ARMS (amplification refractory mutation system). Two diagnostic primers used in distinct multiplex PCRs yield a second diagnostic band in a subsequent gel electrophoresis for Lycium barbarum or Lycium chinense, respectively. Our ARMS approach is a strong but simple tool to trace either of the two different Goji species. Both the morphological and the molecular analysis showed that all of the tested commercial Goji products contained fruits of the species Lycium barbarum var. barbarum, leading to the assumption that consumer protection is satisfactory.
Project description:Lycium barbarum, a member of the Solanaceae family, has been used for more than 2000 years in the traditional Chinese medicine. L. ruthenicum, endemic to northwestern China, is also used as medicine and has had a great influence on the development of Minority Medicine. Previous studies revealed there are many differences between two species, including morphological and phytochemical differences. However, the molecular mechanism of formation of its fruit and associated medicinal and nutritional components is unexplored. In the present studies, for transcriptomic analyses, fruits from 5 developmental stages L. barbarum and L. ruthenicum were collected. KEGG analyses for the DEGs between L. barbarum and L. ruthenicum, revealed that molecular mechanism of fruit formation were distinct obviously during the development process. Moreover, we found that multiple DEGs enriched in “Phenylpropanoid biosynthesis (ID: ko00940”, “Flavonoid biosynthesis” (ID: ko00941) were up-regulated in L. ruthenicum at different developmental stages of fruit. It suggested that biotic and abiotic stress might be responsible for high abundance of antioxidant capacities in L. ruthenicum. Overall design: Comparative study on development of wolfberry by transcriptomic analyses from Lycium barbarum and Lycium ruthenicum
Project description:Goji berry, Lycium barbarum, has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), but its properties have not been studied until recently. The fruit is a major source of zeaxanthin dipalmitate (ZD), a xanthophyll carotenoid shown to benefit the liver. Liver disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Some conditions, such as chronic hepatitis B virus, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma, remain incurable. Managing them can constitute an economic burden for patients and healthcare systems. Hence, development of more effective pharmacological drugs is warranted. Studies have shown the hepatoprotective, antifibrotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, antitumor, and chemopreventive properties of ZD. These findings suggest that ZD-based drugs could hold promise for many liver disorders. In this paper, we reviewed the current literature regarding the therapeutic effects of ZD in the treatment of liver disease.
Project description:Lycii Fructus is a traditional medicine used to prevent liver and kidney diseases, which commonly derives from <i>Lycium chinense</i> and <i>Lycium barbarum</i>. Here, the extracts and ethyl acetate-soluble fractions of <i>L. chinense</i> fruits exhibited better hepatoprotective effects than those of <i>L. barbarum</i>, which was likely due to differences in their composition. Therefore, GC-MS and HPLC analyses were conducted to characterize the metabolite differences between <i>L. chinense</i> and <i>L. barbarum</i>. Based on amino acid (AA) and phenolic acid (PA) profiling, 24 AAs and 9 PAs were identified in the two species. Moreover, each species exhibited unique and readily distinguishable AA and PA star graphic patterns. HPLC analysis elucidated composition differences between the ethyl acetate-soluble layers of the two compounds. Further, NMR analysis identified their chemical structures as 4-(2-formyl-5-(hydroxymethyl)-1<i>H</i>-pyrrol-1-yl)butanoic acid and <i>p</i>-coumaric acid. The higher content of 4-(2-formyl-5-(hydroxymethyl)-1<i>H</i>-pyrrol-1-yl)butanoic acid was detected in <i>L. chinense</i>, whereas the content of <i>p</i>-coumaric acid was higher in <i>L. barbarum</i>. Therefore, the differences in the relative contents of these two secondary metabolites in the ethyl acetate-soluble layer of Lycii Fructus could be a good marker to discriminate between <i>L. chinense</i> and <i>L. barbarum</i>.
Project description:Bioassay-guided fractionation of a commercial sample of African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) that was later shown to be contaminated with goji berry (Lycium sp.) led to the isolation of a new pyrrole alkaloid, methyl 2-[2-formyl-5-(hydroxymethyl)-1H-pyrrol-1-yl]propanoate, 1, along with seven known compounds, 2-8. The structures of the isolated compounds were established by analysis of their spectroscopic data. The new compound 1g showed hydroxyl radical-scavenging activity with an ED50 value of 16.7 ?M, whereas 4-[formyl-5-(methoxymethyl)-1H-pyrrol-1-yl]butanoic acid (2) was active in both the hydroxyl radical-scavenging (ED50 11.9 ?M) and quinone reductase-induction [CD (concentration required to double QR activity) 2.4 ?M)] assays used. The isolated compounds were shown to be absent in a taxonomically authenticated African mango sample but present in three separate authentic samples of goji berry (Lycium barbarum) using LC-MS and (1)H NMR fingerprinting analysis, including one sample that previously showed inhibitory activity in vivo in a rat esophageal cancer model induced with N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine. Additionally, microscopic features characteristic of goji berry were observed in the commercial African mango sample.
Project description:Kidney Yang Deficiency Syndrome (KDS-Yang), a typical condition in Chinese medicine, shares similar clinical signs of the glucocorticoid withdrawal syndrome. To date, the underlying mechanism of KDS-Yang has been remained unclear, especially at the metabolic level. In this study, we report a metabolomic profiling study on a classical model of KDS-Yang in rats induced by hydrocortisone injection to characterize the metabolic transformation using gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. WKY1, a polysaccharide extract from Astragalus membranaceus and Lycium barbarum, and WKY2, an aqueous extract from a similar formula containing Astragalus membranaceus, Lycium barbarum, Morinda officinalis, Taraxacum mongolicum, and Cinnamomum cassia presl, were used separately for protective treatments of KDS-Yang. The changes of serum metabolic profiles indicated that significant alterations of key metabolic pathways in response to abrupt hydrocortisone perturbation, including decreased energy metabolism (lactic acid, acetylcarnitine), lipid metabolism (free fatty acids, 1-monolinoleoylglycerol, and cholesterol), gut microbiota metabolism (indole-3-propionic acid), biosynthesis of catecholamine (norepinephrine), and elevated alanine metabolism, were attenuated or normalized with different degrees by the pretreatment of WKY1 or WKY2, which is consistent with the observations in which the two herbal agents could ameliorate biochemical markers of serum cortisone, adrenocorticotropic (ACTH), and urine 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHCS).
Project description:Chinese wolfberry (Lycium spp.) is an important edible and medicinal plant, with a long cultivation history. The genetic relationships among wild Lycium species and landraces have been unclear for a number of reasons, which has hindered the breeding of modern Chinese wolfberry cultivars. In this study, we collected 19 accessions of Chinese wolfberry germplasm, and constructed the genetic relationship based on RAD-seq markers. We obtained 30.32 Gb of clean data, with the average value of each sample being 1.596 Gb. The average mapping rate was 85.7%, and the average coverage depth was 6.76 X. The phylogeny results distinguished all accessions clearly. All the studied landraces shared their most recent common ancestor with L. barbarum, which indicated that L. barbarum may be involved in cultivation of these landraces. The relationship of some landraces, namely the 'Ningqi' series, 'Qingqi-1' and 'Mengqi-1,' has been supported by the phylogeny results, while the triploid wolfberry was shown to be based on a hybrid between 'Ningqi-1' and a tetraploid wolfberry. This study uncovered the genetic background of Chinese wolfberry, and developed the foundation for species classification, accession identification and protection, and the production of hybrid cultivars of wolfberry.