Gamma radiation treatment activates glucomoringin synthesis in moringa oleifera

Tsifhiwa Ramabulana, Risimati D. Mavunda, Paul A. Steenkamp, Lizelle A. Piater, Ian A. Dubery, Ashwell R. Ndhlala, Ntakadzeni E. Madala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Plants are a very rich source of pharmacologically relevant metabolites. However, the relative concentrations of these compounds are subject to the genetic make-up, the physiological state of the plant as well as environmental effects. Recently, metabolic perturbations through the use of abiotic stressors have proven to be a valuable strategy for increasing the levels of these compounds. Oxidative stress-associated stressors, including ionizing radiation, have also been reported to induce metabolites with various biological activities in plants. Hence, the aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of gamma radiation on the induction of purported anti-cancerous metabolites, glucomoringin and its derivatives, in Moringa oleifera Lam., Moringaceae. Here, an UHPLC-qTOF-MS-based targeted metabolic fingerprinting approach was used to evaluate the effect of gamma radiation treatment on the afore-mentioned health-beneficial secondary metabolites of M. oleifera. Following radiation, an increase in glucomoringin and three acyl-ated derivatives was noted. As such, these molecules can be regarded as components of the inducible defense mechanism of M. oleifera as opposed to being constitutive components as it has previously been assumed. This might be an indication of a possible, yet unexplored role of moringin against the effects of oxidative stress in M. oleifera plants. The results also suggest that plants undergoing photo-oxidative stress could accumulate higher amounts of glucomoringin and related molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-575
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Brasileira de Farmacognosia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • Gamma radiation
  • Glucosinolates
  • Metabolite fingerprinting
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)


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