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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2013 Dec;171(7):1589-601. doi: 10.1007/s12010-013-0446-1. Epub 2013 Aug 25.

Long-term cultured hairy roots of chicory-a rich source of hydroxycinnamates and 8-deoxylactucin glucoside.

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Department of Phytochemistry, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Smętna Street 12, 31-343, Kraków, Poland,


A 12-year-old hairy root culture of Cichorium intybus L., a callus culture of the plant as well as roots and leaves of a wild plant of chicory, and roots of two C. intybus L. var. sativum cultivars were examined in respect of their hydroxycinnamate and sesquiterpene lactone compositions and contents. Total phenolics and diphenylpicrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity of the examined plant tissues were also analyzed. The most active in radical scavenging were extracts from the hairy roots and leaves of chicory. 3,5-Dicaffeoylquinic acid was the major antioxidant present in the hairy roots. Its content in the root biomass reached 5.5 %, calculated on a dry weight basis. 8-Deoxylactucin glucoside (crepidiaside A) was the major sesquiterpene lactone in the hairy roots. Its content reached 1.4 %, calculated on a dry weight basis, and was nearly two orders of magnitude higher than that in the roots of wild chicory plant. The glucosidic derivative of 8-deoxylactucin constituted over 85 % of the total sesquiterpene lactone content in the long-term cultured hairy roots of chicory. Aglycone of this compound was reported to possess anti-inflammatory activity. The qualitative and quantitative analyses of hydroxycinnamates in callus and hairy root cultures of C. intybus were undertaken for the first time.

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