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Medicinal Constituents of Brazilian Ginseng are Enhanced Under Elevated CO2

Paper Reviewed
Ferreira, P.R.B., da Cruz, A.C.F., Batista, D.S., Nery, L.A., Andrade, I.G., Rocha, D.I., Felipe, S.H.S., Koehler, A.D., Nunes-Nesi, A. and Otoni, W.C. 2019. CO2 enrichment and supporting material impact the primary metabolism and 20-hydroxyecdysone levels in Brazilian ginseng grown under photoautotrophy. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 139: 77-89.

Brazilian ginseng (Pfaffia glomerata) is a medicinal plant native to Brazil. Its roots contain high levels of saponins and phytosteroids, such as 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), which is utilized in the pharmaceutical industry for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic (Mroczek, 2015), anti-tumor (Levitsky and Dembistky, 2015), anabolic, tonic, aphrodisiac activity (Mendes, 2011; Diaz et al., 2019), dermatological properties (Bernard and Gautier, 2005), and for treatment of multiple sclerosis (Olalde, 2008). However, little is known about how this important plant might respond to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2.

Ferreira et al. (2019) helped to remedy that situation by subjecting an in vitro culture of P. glomerata (Accession A43) to elevated levels of CO2 (1000 ppm) for a period of 45 days. The results of their analysis showed that elevated CO2 increased the concentration of 20E by an incredible 104% when the plants were grown in Florialite supporting material. What is more, the authors say that under such conditions, elevated CO2 also "increased the levels of amino acids, sugars, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, and stress related metabolites aromatic amines and shikimate, osmotic adjustment-related compounds (Hyrdoxyproline, aspartate, and myoinositol)."

In the future, therefore, the production of the medicinal plant constituents, specifically 20E, will be greatly enhanced in Brazilian ginseng as the air's CO2 concentration rises. And that will be a great benefit to the pharmaceutical industry.

Bernard, B. and Gautier, B. 2005. Use of ecdysteroids for preparing dermatological or cosmetological anti-hair loss compositions. United States Patent, US 0137175 A1.

Dias, F.C.R., Martins, A.L.P., Melo, F.C.S.A., Cupertino, M.C., Gomes, M.L.M., Oliveira, J.M., Damasceno, E.M., Silva, J., Otoni, W.C. and Matta, S.L.P. 2019. Hydroalcoholic extract of Pfaffia glomerata alters the organization of the seminiferous tubules by modulating the oxidative state and the microstructural reorganization of the mice testes. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 233: 179-189.

Levitsky, D.O. and Dembistky, V.M. 2015. Anti-breast cancer agents derived from plants. Natural Products and Bioprospecting 5: 1-16.

Mendes, F.R. 2011. Tonic, fortifier and aphrodisiac: adaptogens in the Brazilian folk medicine. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 21: 754-763.

Mroczek, A. 2015. Phytochemistry and bioactivity of triterpene saponins from Amaranthaceae family. Phytochemistry 14: 577-605.

Olalde, J.A. 2008. Multiple sclerosis synergistic phyto-nutraceutical composition. United States Patent, US 0081046 A1

Posted 27 March 2020