Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) of plant material with solvents like CO 2 , propane, butane, or ethylene is a topic of growing interest. SFE allows the processing of plant material at low temperatures, hence limiting thermal degradation, and avoids the use of toxic solvents. Although today SFE is mainly used for decaffeination of coffee and tea as well as production of hop extracts on a large scale, there is also a growing interest in this extraction method for other industrial applications operating at different scales. In this review we update the literature data on SFE technology, with particular reference to flavors and fragrance, by comparing traditional extraction techniques of some industrial medicinal and aromatic crops with SFE. Moreover, we describe the biological activity of SFE extracts by describing their insecticidal, acaricidal, antimycotic, antimicrobial, cytotoxic and antioxidant properties. Finally, we discuss the process modelling, mass-transfer mechanisms, kinetics parameters and thermodynamic by giving an overview of SFE potential in the flavors and fragrances arena.
). † These two authors contributed equally to the work. SUMMARYHerbivory results in an array of physiological changes in the host that are separable from the associated physical damage. We have made the surprising observation that an Arabidopsis line (pdko3) mutated in genes encoding plasmodesmal proteins is defective in some, but not all, of the typical plant responses to herbivory. We tested the responses of plasma transmembrane potential (Vm)
Green coffee beans of Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora accessions from different geographical origin (Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Uganda and Vietnam) were extracted and the extracts analysed by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS for the identification and quantification of chlorogenic acids and caffeine content. Principal component and cluster analyses were used to identify chemical patterns separating the different species and accessions based on their geographical origin. C. canephora showed always a higher caffeine content with respect to C. arabica, whereas the C. arabica accessions from Kenya showed a higher chlorogenic acids and a lower caffeine content. The antioxidant capacity of green coffee extracts was assayed by the reducing power and DPPH assays. The antioxidant capacity correlated with the chlorogenic acids content. The resultsshow that the C. arabica from Kenya possesses the highest chlorogenic acids/caffeine ratio and, among the C. arabica accessions, the highest antioxidant capacity. Therefore, the C. arabica from Kenya is the most suitable green coffee source for nutraceutical applications because of its high antioxidant capacity and low caffeine content.
Background Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgoaceae) is one of the most ancient living seed plants and is regarded as a living fossil. G. biloba has a broad spectrum of resistance or tolerance to many pathogens and herbivores because of the presence of toxic leaf compounds. Little is known about early and late events occurring in G. biloba upon herbivory. The aim of this study was to assess whether herbivory by the generalist Spodoptera littoralis was able to induce early signaling and direct defense in G. biloba by evaluating early and late responses.Methodology/Principal FindingsEarly and late responses in mechanically wounded leaves and in leaves damaged by S. littoralis included plasma transmembrane potential (Vm) variations, time-course changes in both cytosolic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]cyt) and H2O2 production, the regulation of genes correlated to terpenoid and flavonoid biosynthesis, the induction of direct defense compounds, and the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The results show that G. biloba responded to hebivory with a significant Vm depolarization which was associated to significant increases in both [Ca2+]cyt and H2O2. Several defense genes were regulated by herbivory, including those coding for ROS scavenging enzymes and the synthesis of terpenoids and flavonoids. Metabolomic analyses revealed the herbivore-induced production of several flavonoids and VOCs. Surprisingly, no significant induction by herbivory was found for two of the most characteristic G. biloba classes of bioactive compounds; ginkgolides and bilobalides.Conclusions/SignificanceBy studying early and late responses of G. biloba to herbivory, we provided the first evidence that this “living fossil” plant responds to herbivory with the same defense mechanisms adopted by the most recent angiosperms.
Using the structure of (3,5-dichlorophenyl)aminomethylenebisphosphonic acid as a lead compound, 25 new phosphonates were synthesized and evaluated as possible inhibitors of Arabidopsis thaliana delta1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) reductase. Derivatives substituted in the phenyl ring retained the inhibitory potential, though to a different extent. On the contrary any variation in the scaffold, i.e., the replacement of the second phosphonate moiety with a hydroxyl or an amino residue, resulted in a significant loss of biological activity. The availability of several structures capable of interfering with the catalytic mechanism in the micromolar to millimolar range allowed a proper structure-activity relationship analysis, leading us to hypothesize about the steric and electronic requirements for maintenance or enhancement of the inhibitory properties. Reversal experiments with suspension cultured cells provided evidence for the occurrence of enzyme inhibition in vivo. Because in higher plants the step catalyzed by P5C reductase is shared by all pathways leading to proline synthesis, these compounds may be exploited for the design of new substances endowed with herbicidal activity.
Understanding the chemical cues and gene expressions that mediate herbivore–host-plant and parasite–host interactions can elucidate the ecological costs and benefits accruing to different partners in tight-knit community modules, and may reveal unexpected complexities. We investigated the exploitation of sequential hosts by the phytophagous–predaceous butterfly Maculinea arion, whose larvae initially feed on Origanum vulgare flowerheads before switching to parasitize Myrmica ant colonies for their main period of growth. Gravid female butterflies were attracted to Origanum plants that emitted high levels of the monoterpenoid volatile carvacrol, a condition that occurred when ants disturbed their roots: we also found that Origanum expressed four genes involved in monoterpene formation when ants were present, accompanied by a significant induction of jasmonates. When exposed to carvacrol, Myrmica workers upregulated five genes whose products bind and detoxify this biocide, and their colonies were more tolerant of it than other common ant genera, consistent with an observed ability to occupy the competitor-free spaces surrounding Origanum. A cost is potential colony destruction by Ma. arion, which in turn may benefit infested Origanum plants by relieving their roots of further damage. Our results suggest a new pathway, whereby social parasites can detect successive resources by employing plant volatiles to simultaneously select their initial plant food and a suitable sequential host.
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