Medicinal plants have always been considered a rich source of secondary metabolites that promote human health. Quality and property of medicinal plants strictly depend on secondary metabolites profile. They also play important roles in plant physiological processes and in ecological systems. The environment exerts a selective pressure on plants and these molecules actively participate to the plant response and adaptation. Amongst secondary metabolite, the phenolic compounds possess properties able to prevent oxidative stress. Therefore, an enhancement of the amount of phenolic compounds can be observed under different environmental factors. With this project we aimed to study the phenolic compounds of the medicinal plant Achillea collina Becker ex Rchb. cv “SPAK”, and their implication in physiological and biochemical response to abiotic and biotic stresses. We seek the possibility to increase the synthesis of phenolics with health properties or useful as potential control agents of insect pests. Abiotic stress. Hydroponic culture was used to evaluate the effect of long-term mineral, nitrogen starvation (abiotic stress) in A. collina. By means of HPLC-DAD-ESI/MS and NMR techniques, the content and the qualitative profile of A. collina methanol soluble phenolics, were evaluated. We concluded that the methanol extracts of A. collina leaves and roots are rich in hydroxycinnamic acids such as chlorogenic acid (2.33 ± 0.3 mg g-1 Dw), 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid (10.7 ± 4.2 mg g-1 Dw) and 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid (0.88 ± 0.24 mg g-1 Dw). The content of hydroxycinnamic acids significantly increased in plants growth under mineral nitrogen starvation, respect to the control plants. Chlorogenic acid increased by 2.5 and 3-fold and 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid increased by 8.5 and 35-fold in leaves and root, respectively. Biotic stress. A. collina plants cultivated in soil were infested with the phloem feeders aphids. We set up the system (e.g., age of plant, type of the cage, number of insects per plant, duration of infestation) to co-cultivated the plants with specialist (Macrosiphoniella millefolii) and generalist (Myzus persicae Sulzer) aphids. Plant growth, water and total protein content were evaluated. Based on a preliminary assessment of phenolic fingerprint, further extractions and separations were performed on A. collina leaves, to obtained soluble and cell wall-bound fractions and their sub-classes. Our results showed that A. collina plants were strongly affected by aphid infestation. Twenty days after infestation, the fresh weight was twenty-fold and seven-fold increased, in control and infested plants. Water and protein content, condensed tannins and methanol soluble phenolics content, were not affected by the aphid infestation. Cell wall-bound phenolics content increased in infested plants. The main phenolics were found to be chlorogenic acid and 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic in methanol soluble fraction, and caffeic acid in cell wall fraction. The chromatographic profiles showed that the main hydroxycinnamic acids were present in control and in both M. persicae and M. millefolli infested plants. The quantitative analysis indicated that the levels of chlorogenic acid and 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, were 44% and 37% higher in M. persicae infested plants, respectively. The levels of chlorogenic acid and 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, were 27% and 39% higher in M. millefolli infested plants, respectively. Twenty days after infestation the content of caffeic acid was resulted 43% and 34% higher in M. persicae and M. millefolli infested plants, respectively. These differences should indicate the different evolutionary interaction between plant and generalist/specialist aphid. We hypotheses that the increase of these molecules may represent a plant resistance mechanism against aphid attack. Finally, a chemometric approach, by means multivariate statistical analysis, was applied on chromatogram profiles to verify whether there is difference between methanol soluble fraction of infested and non infested A. collina plants. The discriminant analysis showed a significant effect of phloem feeders aphids on soluble phenolic compounds and indicated two peaks, not yet identified, that separate control from infested plants. In conclusion the model system developed to cultivate A. collina was useful to understand the metabolic basis of the environment interactions. The main hydroxycinnamic acids identified, were resulted increased in both abiotic and biotic stress, suggesting their implication in A. collina protection to environmental controversies.
|Titolo:||MEDICINAL PLANT RESPONSE TO ABIOTIC AND BIOTIC STRESS|
|Supervisori e coordinatori interni:||BASSI, DANIELE|
|Data di pubblicazione:||16-dic-2010|
|Parole Chiave:||Achillea collina ; phenolic compounds ; HPLC ; aphids ; interaction ; chemometric|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/13 - Chimica Agraria|
|Citazione:||MEDICINAL PLANT RESPONSE TO ABIOTIC AND BIOTIC STRESS ; tutor: Maurizio Cocucci ; co-tutor: Annamaria Giorgi ; coordinatore: Daniele Bassi. - Milano : Università degli studi di Milano. Università degli Studi di Milano, 2010 Dec 16. ((23. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2010.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|