Publications by authors named "Mohammad Hossein Mirjalili"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Phenolics diversity among wild populations of : as a precious source for antimicrobial and antioxidant applications.

Nat Prod Res 2020 Dec 28:1-5. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

The genus L. belongs to the Lamiaceae family including several known species rich in natural compounds that are extensively used in pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries. populations contain a broad diversity of flavonoids and phenolic acids. The present study aimed to explore biological and pharmacological effects including antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of nineteen populations () grown in Iran for the first time. High content of rosmarinic acid (RA) in (Gazan) (5.65 ± 0.33 mg/g DW) caused high antimicrobial activity against two bacteria (, ) and the fungus , while methanolic extract of (Taleghan) showed high antioxidant activity due to high content of salvianolic acid A (SAA) and quercetin (0.53 ± 0.04 and 0.49 ± 0.12 mg/g DW, respectively). Altogether these results can be considered for further commercial exploitations to meet the demands of the food and pharmaceutical industries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2020.1864369DOI Listing
December 2020

Powerful Plant Antioxidants: A New Biosustainable Approach to the Production of Rosmarinic Acid.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Dec 14;9(12). Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Laboratori de Fisiologia Vegetal, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII sn, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Modern lifestyle factors, such as physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, and exposure to environmental pollution, induce excessive generation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body. These by-products of oxygen metabolism play a key role in the development of various human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart failure, brain damage, muscle problems, premature aging, eye injuries, and a weakened immune system. Synthetic and natural antioxidants, which act as free radical scavengers, are widely used in the food and beverage industries. The toxicity and carcinogenic effects of some synthetic antioxidants have generated interest in natural alternatives, especially plant-derived polyphenols (e.g., phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes, tannins, coumarins, lignins, lignans, quinines, curcuminoids, chalcones, and essential oil terpenoids). This review focuses on the well-known phenolic antioxidant rosmarinic acid (RA), an ester of caffeic acid and ()-(+)-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) lactic acid, describing its wide distribution in thirty-nine plant families and the potential productivity of plant sources. A botanical and phytochemical description is provided of a new rich source of RA, Jamzad (Lamiaceae). Recently reported approaches to the biotechnological production of RA are summarized, highlighting the establishment of cell suspension cultures of as an RA chemical biofactory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9121273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765155PMC
December 2020

Effect of photoperiod and plant growth regulators on in vitro mass bulblet proliferation of L. (Amaryllidaceae), a potential source of galantamine.

Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 2020 May 20:1-13. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Evin, 1983969411 Tehran, Iran.

L., a bulbous plant belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family, contains alkaloid galantamine (GAL) with acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity which has been recently considered to treat Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the current work, the effect of photoperiod (16/8 h light/dark and 24 h dark) and various concentrations of NAA, BAP, and GA (0, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg l) on the in vitro mass bulblet regeneration of was studied. The GAL production ability of the regenerated bulblets was assessed by HPLC-UV-MS. Light treatments significantly affected the number of bulblet and leaf, the ratio of bulblet/leaf, and leaf length. The maximum number of bulblet (31.0 ± 1.58) and leaf (13.3 ± 1.33) was recorded from the cultures fortified with NAA and BAP (2 mg l) kept in 16/8 h light/dark, while the maximum leaf length (2.1 ± 0.92 cm) was measured on the MS medium containing 0.5 mg l NAA and 2 mg l BAP incubated in the same photoperiod. The average ratio of bulblet proliferation per explant was significantly different between studied photoperiod (1.1 ± 0.86) and 24 h dark (0.62 ± 0.31). The regenerated bulblets contained 40 and 20 µg g DW GAL underexposed photoperiod and 24 h dark, respectively. This information could be useful in the commercial production of GAL as a valuable anti-AD compound through in vitro mass bulblet proliferation of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11240-020-01853-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238720PMC
May 2020

Fast and cost-effective preparation of plant cells for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis.

Anal Biochem 2020 11 19;609:113920. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G. C., Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

The analysis of plant cell structure provides valuable information about its morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics. Nowadays, scanning electron microscope (SEM) is widely used to provide high-resolution images at the surface of biological samples. However, biological specimens require preparation, including dehydration and coating with conductive materials for imaging by SEM. There are several techniques for providing images with maximum maintenance of cell structure and minimum cellular damage, but each requires the use of expensive and hazardous materials, which can be damaging to the cell in many cases. Therefore, the provision of new and effective preparation methods based on maintaining cell structure for imaging can be very practical. In the present study, a fast and cost-effective protocol was first performed for chemical fixation and preparation of the plant cells for imaging by SEM. Taxus baccata and Zhumeria majdae cells were chemically fixed using glutaraldehyde and then successfully dried with different percentages of ethanol including 70, 80, 90, and 100%. In addition, SEM was performed for imaging the cell surface in different micro-scales. This protocol can be used by plant cell biologists and biotechnologists who are interested in studying structural and biochemical responses of treated or stressed plant cells by SEM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2020.113920DOI Listing
November 2020

Identification of key genes involved in the biosynthesis of triterpenic acids in the mint family.

Sci Rep 2019 11 1;9(1):15826. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Department of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G. C., Tehran, Iran.

Triterpenic acids (TAs), a large group of natural compounds with diverse biological activity, are produced by several plant taxa. Betulinic, oleanolic, and ursolic acids are the most medicinally important TAs and are mainly found in plants of the mint family. Metabolic engineering is strongly dependent on identifying the key genes in biosynthetic pathways toward the products of interest. In this study, gene expression tracking was performed by transcriptome mining, co-expression network analysis, and tissue-specific metabolite-expression analysis in order to identify possible key genes involved in TAs biosynthetic pathways. To this end, taxa-specific degenerate primers of six important genes were designed using an effective method based on the MEME algorithm in a phylogenetically related group of sequences and successfully applied in three members of the Lamiaceae (Rosmarinus officinalis, Salvia officinalis, and Thymus persicus). Based on the results of in-depth data analysis, genes encoding squalene epoxidase and oxido squalene cyclases are proposed as targets for boosting triterpene production. The results emphasize the importance of identifying key genes in triterpene biosynthesis, which may facilitate genetic manipulation or overexpression of target genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-52090-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825174PMC
November 2019

The effects of salicylic acid and glucose on biochemical traits and taxane production in a Taxus baccata callus culture.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2018 Nov 11;132:271-280. Epub 2018 Sep 11.

Department of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

The combined use of elicitors can be an effective way to increase the production of secondary metabolites (SMs) in plant cell, tissue and organ cultures. This study investigated the effects of a salicylic acid (SA) pretreatment and different glucose levels on the growth, biochemical traits and taxane production in a Taxus baccata callus culture. For this purpose, after a pretreatment with SA (5 μM), three-month-old calli were cultured on B5 medium fortified with different concentrations of glucose (0, 0.5, 1, 2 and 3%), and they were compared with calli cultured on a B5 medium supplemented only with glucose. When the calli were harvested at 21 days, their fresh weight (g), dry weight (g) and cell viability (%) had decreased significantly (p < 0.05) with the higher glucose concentrations. The glucose treatment increased the hydrogen peroxide (HO) and malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and caused oxidative stress in treated tissues. The lower HO content and oxidative stress was associated with an increased antioxidant enzyme activity in the SA-pretreated samples, which resulted in less membrane damage and improved growth and cell viability under the glucose treatment compared to the control. By reducing the activity of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO), the SA pretreatment reduced the production and oxidation of phenolic compounds under the glucose treatment; this decrease was associated with less browning of tissues and higher viability. Increases in taxol (5.1-fold) and total taxanes (3.5-fold) in the SA-pretreated calli cultured on the medium containing 2% glucose, compared to the control, indicated that the two treatments had a significant effect on taxane production in the T. baccata callus culture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2018.09.013DOI Listing
November 2018

Genetic and Chemical Diversity in Perovskia abrotanoides Kar. (Lamiaceae) Populations Based on ISSRs Markers and Essential Oils Profile.

Chem Biodivers 2018 Mar 13;15(3):e1700508. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G. C., Evin, 1983969411, Tehran, Iran.

Genetic and the essential oil composition variability among twelve Perovskia abrotanoides populations (PAbPs) growing wild in Iran were assessed by ISSR markers, GC-FID and GC/MS, respectively. Nine selected ISSR primers produced 119 discernible bands, of them 96 (80.7%) being polymorphic. Genetic similarity values among populations ranged between 0.07 and 0.79 which indicated a high level of genetic variation. Polymorphic information content, resolving power and marker index generated by ISSR primers were, 0.31, 6.14, and 3.32, respectively. UPGMA grouped PAbPs into four main clusters. Altogether, 38 chemical compounds were identified in the oils, and a relatively high variation in their contents was found. Camphor (11.9 - 27.5%), 1,8-cineole (11.3 - 21.3%), α-bisabolol (0.0 - 13.1%), α-pinene (5.9 - 10.8%), and δ-3-carene (0.1 - 10.5%) were the major compounds. Oxygenated monoterpenes (32.1 - 35.8%) and monoterpene hydrocarbons (25.7 - 30.4%) were the main groups of compounds in the oils studied. Cluster analysis and principal-component analysis were used to characterize the samples according to oil components. Four main chemotypes were found to be Chemotype I (camphor/1,8-cineol), Chemotype II (1,8-cineole/camphor), Chemotype III (camphor/1,8-cineol/α-bisabolol), and Chemotype IV (camphor/δ-3-carene/α-bisabolol). The information, provided here on P. abrotanoides populations, will be useful to introduce this plant into agricultural systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201700508DOI Listing
March 2018

Specialized Plant Metabolism Characteristics and Impact on Target Molecule Biotechnological Production.

Mol Biotechnol 2018 Feb;60(2):169-183

Plant Physiology Laboratory, Center for Biotechnology and Department of Botany, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.

Plant secondary metabolism evolved in the context of highly organized and differentiated cells and tissues, featuring massive chemical complexity operating under tight environmental, developmental and genetic control. Biotechnological demand for natural products has been continuously increasing because of their significant value and new applications, mainly as pharmaceuticals. Aseptic production systems of plant secondary metabolites have improved considerably, constituting an attractive tool for increased, stable and large-scale supply of valuable molecules. Surprisingly, to date, only a few examples including taxol, shikonin, berberine and artemisinin have emerged as success cases of commercial production using this strategy. The present review focuses on the main characteristics of plant specialized metabolism and their implications for current strategies used to produce secondary compounds in axenic cultivation systems. The search for consonance between plant secondary metabolism unique features and various in vitro culture systems, including cell, tissue, organ, and engineered cultures, as well as heterologous expression in microbial platforms, is discussed. Data to date strongly suggest that attaining full potential of these biotechnology production strategies requires being able to take advantage of plant specialized metabolism singularities for improved target molecule yields and for bypassing inherent difficulties in its rational manipulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12033-017-0056-1DOI Listing
February 2018

Establishment and characterization of a Satureja khuzistanica Jamzad (Lamiaceae) cell suspension culture: a new in vitro source of rosmarinic acid.

Cytotechnology 2016 Aug 12;68(4):1415-24. Epub 2015 Aug 12.

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

An in vitro approach to the production of rosmarinic acid (RA), a medicinally important caffeic acid ester, in a cell suspension culture (CSC) of Satureja khuzistanica Jamzad (Lamiaceae) has been investigated for the first time. The CSC was established from friable calli derived from shoot tip explants in Gamborg's B5 liquid medium supplemented with 30 g/L sucrose, 20 mg/L L-glutamine, 200 mg/L casein hydrolysate, 5 mg/L benzyladenine (BA) and 1 mg/L indole-3-butyric acid (IBA). The effect of nitrogen source (KNO3 and (NH4)2SO4) and their different concentrations on the fresh and dry weight (g/L), as well as RA content (mg/g dry weight) were measured. CSC growth measurements indicated a maximum specific cell growth rate of 1.5/day, a doubling time of 7.6 days and a high percentage of cell viability (96.4 %) throughout the growth cycle. Maximum cell fresh weight (353.5 g/L), dry weight (19.7 g/L) and RA production (180.0 mg/g) were attained at day 21 of culture. Cell growth and RA content were affected by nitrogen deficiency. Media containing 8.3 mM of total nitrogen (¼ of B5 standard medium) led to a minimum cell fresh weight (243.0 g/L), dry weight (17.4 g/L) and RA content (38.0 mg/g) after 21 days. The established CSC provided useful material for further optimization experiments aimed at a large-scale production of RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10616-015-9901-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4960188PMC
August 2016

In-vitro Callus Induction and Rosmarinic Acid Quantification in Callus Culture of Satureja khuzistanica Jamzad (Lamiaceae).

Iran J Pharm Res 2014 ;13(4):1447-56

Department of Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G. C., Evin, Tehran, Iran.

In the present study, an efficient protocol has been developed for callus induction and production of RA in callus culture of Satureja khuzistanica for the first time. In-vitro callus induction was achieved from young shoot tip explants cultured on MS and B5 media supplemented with different concentrations of IBA (0.1, 1.0, 2.0 and 5.0 mgL(-1)) solely or in combination with cytokinins BAP and KIN (1.0, 2.0 and 5.0 mgL(-1)). B5 medium supplemented with 1.0 mgL(-1) IBA plus 5.0 mgL(-1) BAP and MS medium fortified with 2.0 mgL(-1) IBA and 2.0 mgL(-1) BAP were the most favorable media for callus formation with the highest induction rate (96%). Maximum growth index (2.89 and 2.63) and maximum callus biomass (2.34 and 2.33 g fresh weight) were obtained from the callus cultured on B5 medium supplemented with 1.0 mgL(-1) IBA plus 5.0 mgL(-1) BAP and MS medium fortified with 1.0 mgL(-1) IBA plus 1.0 mgL(-1) KIN, respectively. Determination and quantification of RA in cultured calli were performed by HPLC UV/MS analysis. Calli induced from the plant and maintained on supplements of IBA and BAP in the absence of light produced RA 7.5% based on dry weight (DW). No differentiation was observed in any callus during the course of this study.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4232813PMC
January 2015

The Biological Activity and Composition of the Essential Oil of Sclerorhachis leptoclada (Asteraceae-Anthemideae) from Iran.

Iran J Pharm Res 2014 ;13(3):1097-104

Department of Marine Biology, Hormozgan University, Bandar Abbas, Iran.

The biological activity and composition of the essential oil of Sclerorhachis leptoclada Rech. f. an endemic species from northeast of Iran was studied. The essential oil was isolated from the aerial flowering parts of the plant and analyzed by GC and GC-MS. Fifty-four compounds accounting for 95.9% of the total oil were characterized. The main constituents were (E)-nerolidol (14.5%), terpinen-4-ol (13.3%), camphor (6.1%), 1,8-cineole (4.8%) and p-cymene (4.5%). The antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of S. leptoclada was tested against eight microbial strains and a fungi. The results of the bioassays showed that the Gram-positive bacteria, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus epidermidis, were the most sensitive to the oil than others with the MIC value of 1.8 mg/mL. The tested fungi, Saccharomyces cerevisiae was highly inhibited by the oil of S. leptoclada with MIC value of 10 mg/mL. In the case of cytotoxicity, IC50 values estimated to be 312, 1250, 625 and 1250 μg oil/mL respectively, for the Vero, SW480, MCF7, and JET 3 cancer cell lines.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4177633PMC
October 2014

New trends in biotechnological production of rosmarinic acid.

Biotechnol Lett 2014 Dec 12;36(12):2393-406. Epub 2014 Sep 12.

Institute of Biotechnology, Biochemical Engineering and Cell Cultivation Techniques, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Campus Grüental, Wädenswil, Switzerland.

Rosmarinic acid (RA), an ester of caffeic acid and 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl lactic acid, is widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Interest in it is growing due to its promising biological activities, including cognitive-enhancing effects and slowing the development of Alzheimer's disease, cancer chemoprotection or anti-inflammatory activity, among others. In order to meet the increasing demand for this compound, several biotechnological approaches to its production based on plant cell and hairy root cultures have been developed. Empirical strategies are currently being combined with metabolic engineering tools to increase RA production in plant cell platforms in a more rational way. Discussed here are the latest advances in the field, together with recent trends in plant biotechnology, such as the application of single use technology and the use of biosensors in downstream processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10529-014-1640-0DOI Listing
December 2014

Oxidative stress protective effect of Dracocephalum multicaule essential oil against human cancer cell line.

Nat Prod Res 2014 31;28(11):848-52. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

a Department of Biology , Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Evin 1983963113 , Tehran , Iran.

In this study, we report the antioxidative and protective effect of essential oil of Dracocephalum multicaule on K562 cells. Our results demonstrated that monoterpenoids, including oxygenated and hydrocarbons, 71.5% and 28.3%, respectively, were the principal essential oils of D. multicaule. Perilla aldehyde (71.5%) and limonene (28.1%) were identified as the main components. Antioxidant studies based on the 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl assay indicated that the D. multicaule essential oil possesses a marked antioxidant and radical-scavenging activity with an IC₅₀ value of 438.2 μg/mL. Pretreatment with essential oil and main constituents protected K562 cells 49.5% against H₂O₂-induced oxidative damage throughout increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione content in K562 cells. Collectively, D. multicaule essential oil and its main compounds especially in combinatory condition at a ratio of 7:3 with high antioxidant properties may be able to protect cells against oxidative stress induced by H₂O₂ through antioxidative mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2014.881364DOI Listing
October 2014

Chemical diversity among the essential oils of wild populations of Stachys lavandulifolia VAHL (Lamiaceae) from Iran.

Chem Biodivers 2013 Feb;10(2):262-73

Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, 31587, Iran.

The variation of the essential-oil composition among ten wild populations of Stachys lavandulifolia VAHL (Lamiaceae), collected from different geographical regions of Iran, was assessed by GC-FID and GC/MS analyses, and their intraspecific chemical variability was determined. Altogether, 49 compounds were identified in the oils, and a relatively high variation in their contents was found. The major compounds of the essential oils were myrcene (0.0-26.2%), limonene (0.0-24.5%), germacrene D (4.2-19.3%), bicyclogermacrene (1.6-18.0%), δ-cadinene (6.5-16.0%), pulegone (0.0-15.1%), (Z)-hex-3-enyl tiglate (0.0-15.1%), (E)-caryophyllene (0.0-12.9), α-zingiberene (0.2-12.2%), and spathulenol (1.6-11.1%). For the determination of the chemotypes and the chemical variability, the essential-oil components were subjected to cluster analysis (CA). The five different chemotypes characterized were Chemotype I (germacrene D/bicyclogermacrene), Chemotype II (germacrene D/spathulenol), Chemotype III (limonene/δ-cadinene), Chemotype IV (pulegone), and Chemotype V (α-zingiberene). The high chemical variation among the populations according to their geographical and bioclimatic distribution imposes that conservation strategies of populations should be made appropriately, taking into account these factors. The in situ and ex situ conservation strategies should concern all populations representing the different chemotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201200194DOI Listing
February 2013

Living between two worlds: two-phase culture systems for producing plant secondary metabolites.

Crit Rev Biotechnol 2013 Mar 29;33(1):1-22. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Department of Plant Biology, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil.

The two-phase culture system is an important in vitro strategy to increase the production of secondary metabolites (SMs) by providing an enhanced release of these compounds from plant cells. Whereas the first phase supports cell growth, the second phase provides an additional site or acts as a metabolic sink for the accumulation of SMs and also reduces feedback inhibition. This review is focused on several aspects of the two-phase culture system and aims to show the diverse possibilities of employing this technique for the in vitro production of SMs from plant cells. Depending on the material used in the secondary phase, two-phase culture systems can be broadly categorised as liquid-liquid or liquid-solid. The choice of material for the second phase depends on the type of compound to be recovered and the compatibility with the other phase. Different factors affecting the efficiency of two-phase culture systems include the choice of material for the secondary phase, its concentration, volume, and time of addition. Factors such as cell elicitation, immobilization, and permeabilization, have been suggested as important strategies to make the two-phase culture system practically reliable on a commercial scale. Since there are many possibilities for designing a two-phase system, more detailed studies are needed to broaden the range of secondary phases compatible with the various plant species producing SMs with potential applications, mainly in the food and pharmacology industries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/07388551.2012.659173DOI Listing
March 2013

Isolation and characterization of Stemphylium sedicola SBU-16 as a new endophytic taxol-producing fungus from Taxus baccata grown in Iran.

FEMS Microbiol Lett 2012 Mar 10;328(2):122-9. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Department of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Tehran, Iran.

In this study, a total of 25 endophytic fungi were successfully isolated from the inner bark of Taxus baccata grown in Iran by the aseptic technique. Genomic DNA was extracted from isolated endophytic fungi and subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for the presence of the Taxus taxadiene synthase (ts) gene, which encodes the enzyme catalyzing the first committed step of taxol biosynthesis. Four of 25 isolated endophytic fungi isolates showed PCR positive for the ts gene. Subsequently, taxol and 10-deacetylbaccatin III (10-DAB III) were extracted from culture filtrates and mycelia of the PCR positive isolates and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The analysis showed that one isolate (SBU-16) produced taxol (6.9 ± 0.2 μg L(-1) ) and its intermediate compound, 10-DAB III (2.2 ± 0.1 μg L(-1) ). The isolate SBU-16 was identified as Stemphylium sedicola SBU-16, according to its morphological characteristics as well as the internal transcribed spacer nuclear rDNA gene sequence analysis. Interestingly, this is the first report of the genus Stemphylium as a taxol-producing taxon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.2011.02488.xDOI Listing
March 2012

Phytochemical and morphological characterization of Satureja khuzistanica Jamzad populations from Iran.

Chem Biodivers 2011 May;8(5):902-15

Department of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Drug Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Evin, Tehran, Iran.

Satureja khuzistanica is an endemic herb growing wild in Iran with interesting pharmacological and biological properties. Here, as an initial step of the domestication process, the variability of phytochemical and morphological traits among 69 individuals of eight natural populations of the plant was studied. The investigated characteristics were the essential oil content and composition, the rosmarinic acid (RA) content, and the leaf and flower morphologies. The Abdanan and Kaver populations showed the highest oil contents. The characterization by GC-FID and GC/MS analyses of the oils revealed that all 69 sampled individuals had carvacrol as the main component with very high contents (89.59-95.41%). The content of RA of the MeOH extracts of S. khuzistanica showed a high level of variability (coefficient of variation (CV) 50.0%) ranging from 0.59% (w/w) in the Paalam population to 1.81% (w/w) in the Abdanan population. The peduncle length and the leaf surface area (CVs of 47.39 and 47.21%, resp.) were the most variable morphological characteristics among the examined populations. The high level of phytochemical and morphological variability among the studied populations suggests a breeding approach during the domestication, to gain new, promising, and homogenous cultivars, attractive for the industry and agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201000249DOI Listing
May 2011

Chemical and genetic diversity of Zataria multiflora Boiss. accessions growing wild in Iran.

Chem Biodivers 2011 Jan;8(1):176-88

Department of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G. C., Evin, Tehran, Iran.

Zataria multiflora Boiss. is an aromatic shrub belonging to the Lamiaceae family. Its aerial parts are used in the traditional medicine and in the pharmaceutical and food industries. The terpenoid and genetic profiles of 18 accessions of Z. multiflora, collected in different locations in Iran, have been analyzed by GC/FID and GC/MS or by AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) analyses, respectively. Altogether, 56 compounds were identified in the essential oils, with the major constituents being thymol (6.0-54.9%), carvacrol (0.7-50.6%), linalool (1.2-46.8%), and p-cymene (1.6-14.8%). On the basis of the essential-oil composition, the 18 accessions were divided into four groups. The first group was characterized by a high content of carvacrol, thymol, and linalool, the second group was dominated by carvacrol, thymol, and p-cymene, the third group was characterized by a high concentration of thymol and a low content of carvacrol and p-cymene, and the forth group contained linalool and carvacrol as the main components. The AFLP results revealed that the average genetic similarity (GS) between the accessions was 0.61, ranging from 0.40 to 0.77. The UPGMA (unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean) cluster analysis divided all accessions into five groups at a similarity level of 0.60. The two clusters generated, the first based on the essential-oil compositions and the second on the AFLP data, showed a different pattern of relationships among the accessions. The knowledge of the Z. multiflora chemotype diversity, illustrated in this study, will allow an improvement of the homogeneity of the plant material for the production of different types of essential oils, depending on the demands of the pharmaceutical and food industries for specific uses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201000070DOI Listing
January 2011

Optimisation of a microwave-assisted method for extracting withaferin A from Withania somnifera Dunal. using central composite design.

Phytochem Anal 2010 Nov-Dec;21(6):544-9

Department of Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

Introduction: Recently, there have been growing attention on the modification and optimisation of new extraction and quantification methods, caused by the lack of environmentally friendly methodologies for the extraction of phytochemicals from complex matrices. In the case of pharmaceutical compounds, not only the extraction procedure but also the analysis method should be efficient, precise, fast and easy.

Objectives: The essential pharmaceutical characteristics and trace concentration of withanolides led us to modify and optimise the previously reported extraction and quantification procedure for withaferin A (WA) as a candidate for withanolides.

Material And Methods: The WA from the air-dried aerial part of Withania somnifera Dunal. was extracted using a microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) technique. Four variables affecting the extraction procedure were optimised using the central composite design approach. The method of high-performance thin-layer chromatography assay was validated and applied for the quantification of each experiment.

Results: The optimum values of factors were: extraction time (150 s), extraction temperature (68°C) and 17 mL of methanol : water in the ratio 25 : 75 as extracting solvent. The solvent system consisted of ethyl acetate : toluene : formic acid : 2-propanol (7.0 : 2.0 : 0.5 : 0.5, v/v/v/v), and densitometric scanning at 220 nm was applied for the analysis. The dynamic linear range, LOD, LOQ and recovery with the inter-day, and intra-day RSDs of the developed method indicated the validity of the method.

Conclusion: A pressurised MAE method for extracting WA from the plant's aerial part was optimised using factorial-based design. The net effect of time, temperature, solvent volume and its ratio suggests that the yield of WA increases until each factor reaches its optimum value, and decreases with further increase in temperature or solvent ratio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pca.1230DOI Listing
February 2011

Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine.

Molecules 2009 Jul 3;14(7):2373-93. Epub 2009 Jul 3.

Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Evin, Tehran, Iran.

Withania somnifera, commonly known as Ashwagandha, is an important medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurvedic and indigenous medicine for over 3,000 years. In view of its varied therapeutic potential, it has also been the subject of considerable modern scientific attention. The major chemical constituents of the Withania genus, the withanolides, are a group of naturally occurring C28-steroidal lactone triterpenoids built on an intact or rearranged ergostane framework, in which C-22 and C-26 are appropriately oxidized to form a six-membered lactone ring. In recent years, numerous pharmacological investigations have been carried out into the components of W. somnifera extracts. We present here an overview of the chemical structures of triterpenoid components and their biological activity, focusing on two novel activities, tumor inhibition and antiangiogenic properties of withaferin A and the effects of withanolide A on Alzheimer's disease. The most recent attempts in biotechnological production of withanolides are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules14072373DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6255378PMC
July 2009

Genetic and withaferin A analysis of Iranian natural populations of Withania somnifera and W. coagulans by RAPD and HPTLC.

Nat Prod Commun 2009 Mar;4(3):337-46

Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

For successful conservation and breeding of a medicinal species, it is important to evaluate its genetic diversity as well as its content of phytochemical compounds. The aim of the present study was to investigate the genetic variation of Iranian natural populations of W. somnifera and W. coagulans, using the RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA) markers, and their withaferin A content. Using 16 RAPD primers, a total of 282 RAPD bands were achieved. The highest and lowest percentages of polymorphism were observed with primers OPAD-15 (100.0%) and OPC-06 (75.0%), respectively. Cluster analysis of the genotypes was performed based on data from polymorphic RAPD bands, using Dice's similarity coefficient and the UPGMA clustering method. Variations in the RAPD results were found to reflect geographical distribution and genetic factors of the plant populations. The HPTLC analysis of the studied samples revealed the presence of withaferin A in W. coagulans and W. somnifera. Moreover, the concentration of withaferin A had a range from 2.2 to 32.5 microg/g DW and was higher in the aerial part than in the root in all used samples. The results of the present study show that there is a high level of variation in the Iranian natural population of Withania, which is significant for conservation and breeding programs to improve production of withaferin A.
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March 2009

Application of metabolic engineering to the production of scopolamine.

Molecules 2008 Aug 18;13(8):1722-42. Epub 2008 Aug 18.

Laboratori de Fisiologia Vegetal, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avda Diagonal 643, E-08028, Barcelona, Spain.

Scopolamine is an alkaloid widely used in medicine for its anticholinergic activity. The aim of this review is to show that metabolic engineering techniques constitute a suitable tool to improve the production of tropane alkaloids, focusing in particular on scopolamine. We present an overview of results obtained by various research groups, including our own, who have studied the overexpression of genes involved in the biosynthesis of scopolamine in different plant species that produce tropane alkaloids. Experiments carried out to improve production in hairy root cultures will also be described, as well as those attempting to biotransform hyoscyamine into scopolamine in roots and transgenic tobacco cells.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6245363PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules13081722DOI Listing
August 2008

Monitoring of the insecticide trichlorfon by phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (31P NMR) spectroscopy.

Anal Chim Acta 2006 Aug 16;576(2):290-6. Epub 2006 Jun 16.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Alzahra University, Vanak, Tehran, Iran.

Trichlorfon is an organophosphorus insecticide, which is extensively being used for protection of fruit crops. Trichlorfon is a thermal labile compound, which cannot be easily determined by gas chromatography (GC) and has no suitable group for sensitive detection by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In this study, a 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (31P NMR) has been described for monitoring of trichlorfon without any separation step. The quantitative works of 31P NMR spectroscopy has been performed in the presence of an internal standard (hexamethylphosphoramide). Limit of detection (LOD) for this method has been found to be 55 mg L(-1), without any sample preparation, and the linear working range was 150-5500 mg L(-1). Relative standard deviation (R.S.D.%) of the method for three replicates within and between days was obtained < or =9%. The average recovery efficiency was approximately 99-112%. This method was applied for monitoring trichlorfon in a commercial insecticide sample and tomato sample.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2006.06.014DOI Listing
August 2006

Antibacterial activity and composition of the essential oil of Ziziphora clinopodioides subsp. bungeana (Juz.) Rech. f. from Iran.

Z Naturforsch C J Biosci 2006 Sep-Oct;61(9-10):677-80

Department of Biology, Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Evin, P.O. Box 19835-389, Tehran, Iran.

The chemical composition of the essential oil obtained from the aerial flowering parts of Ziziphora clinopodioides subsp. bungeana (Juz.) Rech. f. was analyzed by GC and GC-MS. Thirty-two components representing 97.1% of the total oil were identified. Oxygenated monoterpenes (94.3%) were the predominant fraction of the oil with pulegone (65.2%), isomenthone (11.9%), 1,8-cineole (7.8%) and piperitenone (6.5%) as the main constituents. Antibacterial activity of the oil and also its two main components (pulegone and 1,8-cineole) were tested against seven bacteria. It was found that the oil exhibited interesting antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis with MIC values of 3.75 mg/ml.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/znc-2006-9-1011DOI Listing
January 2007