Chlorogenic Acids Biosynthesis in Centella asiatica Cells Is not Stimulated by Salicylic Acid Manipulation

E. N. Ncube, P. A. Steenkamp, N. E. Madala, I. A. Dubery

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Exogenous application of synthetic and natural elicitors of plant defence has been shown to result in mass production of secondary metabolites with nutraceuticals properties in cultured cells. In particular, salicylic acid (SA) treatment has been reported to induce the production of phenylpropanoids, including cinnamic acid derivatives bound to quinic acid (chlorogenic acids). Centella asiatica is an important medicinal plant with several therapeutic properties owing to its wide spectrum of secondary metabolites. We investigated the effect of SA on C. asiatica cells by monitoring perturbation of chlorogenic acids in particular. Different concentrations of SA were used to treat C. asiatica cells, and extracts from both treated and untreated cells were analysed using an optimised UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS method. Semi-targeted multivariate data analyses with the aid of principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projection to latent structures-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) revealed a concentration-dependent metabolic response. Surprisingly, a range of chlorogenic acid derivatives were found to be downregulated as a consequence of SA treatment. Moreover, irbic acid (3,5-O-dicaffeoyl-4-O-malonilquinic acid) was found to be a dominant CGA in C. asiatica cells, although the SA treatment also had a negative effect on its concentration. Overall SA treatment was found to be an ineffective elicitor of CGA production in cultured C. asiatica cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-696
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Caffeoylquinic acids
  • Centella asiatica
  • Chlorogenic acids
  • Elicitation
  • Neuroprotection
  • Salicylic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


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