Modulation of flavonoid and tannin production of Carpobrotus rossii by environmental conditions
Pirie, A and Parsons, D and Renggli, J and Narkowicz, C and Jacobson, GA and Shabala, S, Modulation of flavonoid and tannin production of Carpobrotus rossii by environmental conditions, Environmental and Experimental Botany, 87 pp. 19-31. ISSN 0098-8472 (2013) [Refereed Article]
Dietary supplementation with plant-derived polyphenolic compounds such as the flavonoids epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), quercetin and resveratrol can result in a beneficial effect on degenerative disease processes through both radical scavenging and activation of cellular ion channels. Preliminary
investigations have shown that extracts from the halophyte species Carpobrotus rossii have high in vitro antioxidant and in vivo low-density-lipoprotein-lowering activities. In this study, we have investigated the environmental conditions responsible for inducing flavonoid production in C. rossii in an attempt to maximise production of these compounds. Both field surveys and controlled glasshouse experiments were conducted. Flavonoid production appears to be related to conditions known to cause oxidative stress in plants such as exposure to excessive light, reduced water availability, and low soil potassium levels. Flavonoid production was minimal under salinity levels optimal for C. rossi growth (around 50 mM NaCl) and increased dramatically at sub- and supra-optimal salinities. Flavonoids were clearly concentrated in metabolically active palisade mesophyll tissue rather than the spongy parenchyma. Non-optimal (outside 50–100 mM range) NaCl levels significantly increased flavonoid concentration on a per leaf basis. However, the reduction in biomass production at sub and supra optimal salinities diminished absolute flavonoid production per plant. As a result, saline conditions favouring optimal plant growth appear to be most suitable for maximising production of flavonoids in C. rossii.