The Environmental Fluctuations of some Bioactive Nutraceutical Compounds in Zilla spinosa Inhabiting Arid Habitats
Zilla spinosa is one of the dominated woody perennial shrubs widespread in the Egyptian Red sea coastal desert, belonging to family Brassicacea. Z. spinosa is used as a folk medicine and for heating by local people. Z. spinosa inhabits arid habitats exposed to adverse climatic changes which influence the production of the bioactive natural products. The natural secondary products have significant importance for plant acclimatization to the arid habitats beside their significant practical application in medicinal, nutritive and industrial purposes. The accumulation levels of some natural products including phenols, tannins, glucosinolates, flavonoids, saponins, proanthocyanidins and cardiac glycosides were measured in Z. spinosa inhabiting different locations of Wadi Hagul during spring and summer seasons. The results of the current study showed that Z. spinosa grown in the adverse environment has adapted to cope with extreme temperature, water deficit and geoclimate changes especially in summer, by enhancing the accumulation of some antioxidant compounds including phenols, tannins, glucosinolates, flavonoids, saponins, cardiac glycosides, concomitant with increments in the total antioxidant capacity and PAL activity. Consequently, Z. spinosa shrubs inhabiting the arid environment is a promising new source of saponins, glucosinolates, cardiac glycosides, phenols and flavonoids which could participate in drug development and exploration of alternative strategies to increase productivity of wild plants.
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