NMR-based metabolomic analysis of wild, greenhouse, and in vitro regenerated shoots of Cymbopogon schoenanthus subsp. proximus with GC–MS assessment of proximadiol

Abdelsalam, A., Mahran, E., Chowdhury, K., Boroujerdi, A., & El-Bakry, A.

Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 23.2 (2017): 369-383.

Cymbopogon schoenanthus subsp. proximus is a wild plant distributed in subtropical and east Africa extending from the north to the southern parts of Egypt. Widely used in folk medicine, it is the source of the diuretic sesquiterpene proximadiol. Nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic analysis of polar extracts of shoots from wild, greenhouse, somatic embryos, and direct and indirect organogenic in vitro cultures was carried out. Metabolic profiling yielded 39 compounds, of which common metabolites were 15 (38.4%). Unique metabolites were trehalose (2.5%) in the wild plants, 2-hydroxylisobutyrate, galactarate and tyrosine (7.6%) in indirect organogenic shoots. Tartrate was found only in direct regenerated shoots (2.5%). Metabolites identified in greenhouse and embryogenic shoots showed no unique compounds. Multivariate analysis revealed significant differences between all tested shoots. 4-aminobutyrate, alanine, glutamine, glucose, fructose, and sucrose were the most significantly different metabolites. Proximadiol was identified and quantitatively measured from the non-polar extract of different types of shoots using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Concentrations ranged from 3.6 ± 0.03 to 198.6 ± 7.2 µg/100 mg dry weight in regenerated shoots from somatic embryogenesis and in wild plant shoots, respectively. Direct organogenesis yielded the highest in vitro concentration (20.3 ± 0.5 µg/100 mg dry weight). This study reported the metabolic profiling of C. schoenanthus polar extract and identified primary metabolites that are unique to the wild type and shoots regenerated from different in vitro cultures. Proximadiol was quantified and the in vitro culture system yielding the highest concentration relative to the wild plant was identified.

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