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Assessment of the Nutritional and Medicinal Potential of Tubers from Hairy Stork's-Bill (Erodium crassifolium L 'Hér), a Wild Plant Species Inhabiting Arid Southeast Mediterranean Regions.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland) (2020-08-23)
Shabtai Cohen, Hinanit Koltai, Gopinath Selvaraj, Moran Mazuz, Moran Segoli, Amnon Bustan, Ofer Guy
ABSTRACT

Emerging needs for diversifying human diet and to explore novel therapeutic procedures have led to increasing attempts to retrieve traditional nourishments and recruit beneficial wild plant species. Species of the genus Erodium (Geraniaceae) harbor medicinal indications and substances known from folklore and scientific research. Hairy stork's bill (Erodium crassifolium L'Hér), is a small hemicryptophyte that inhabits arid southeast Mediterranean regions. E. crassifolium is among the very few Geraniaceae species known to produce tubers. Traditional knowledge holds that the tubers are edible and used by Bedouin tribes. However, no scientific information was found regarding nutrition or medicinal properties of these tubers. The objectives of our project are to unravel potential nutritional and medicinal benefits of the tubers, conduct initial steps towards domestication and develop agricultural practices enhancing E. crassifolium tuber yield and quality. Tubers show high water content (90%), low caloric value (23 Kcal 100-1 g) and considerable contents of minerals and vitamins. In addition, the tubers contain significant amounts of catechins and epigallocatechin, polyphenolic compounds known for their antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities. Furthermore, in vitro experiments demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory effects on human cell cultures. E. crassifolium is highly responsive to environmental changes; fertigation (700 mm) increased tuber yield by 10-fold, compared to simulated wild conditions (50-200 mm). These results indicate a significant potential of E. crassifolium becoming a valuable crop species. Therefore, there is a need for continued efforts in domestication, including ecotype selection, breeding, development of suitable agricultural practices and further exploration of its medicinal benefits.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Dexamethasone, powder, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture, ≥97%
Supelco
N,O-Bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide with trimethylchlorosilane, with 1% trimethylchlorosilane, for GC derivatization, LiChropur