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The main objective of the
Journal of Berry Research is to improve the knowledge about quality and production of berries to benefit health of the consumers and maintain profitable production using sustainable systems.
The objective will be achieved by focusing on four main areas of research and development:
1. From genetics to variety evaluation
2. Nursery production systems and plant quality control
3. Plant physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as cultural management
4. Health for the consumer: components and factors affecting berries' nutritional value
Specifically, the journal will cover berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, cranberry currants, etc.), as well as grapes and small soft fruit in general (e.g., kiwi fruit). It will publish research results covering all areas of plant breeding, including plant genetics, genomics, functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, plant physiology, plant pathology and plant development, as well as results dealing with the chemistry and biochemistry of bioactive compounds contained in such fruits and their possible role in human health. Contributions detailing possible pharmacological, medical or therapeutic use or dietary significance will be welcomed in addition to studies regarding biosafety issues of genetically modified plants.
Journal of Berry Research will feature reviews, research articles, brief communications, position papers, letters and patent updates.
Abstract: Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) belongs to the Ericaceae family and is endemic to the Mediterranean area. Its fruits are edible and its fruits and leaves are used in folk medicine for diverse purposes. Previous studies have shown that the fruits are rich in flavonoids, responsible for their antioxidant properties and compounds isolated from the entire plant were promising in cancer chemopreventive therapy. Strawberry tree fruits and leaves extracts enriched in polyphenols, but devoid of organic acids, carotenoids and sugars, were prepared by solid phase extraction (SPE) and tested for their antioxidant activities and their ability to inhibit metalloproteinases: attributes that…could be related with initiation and proliferation of cancer cells. After fractionation by SPE, the apparent polyphenol yield was reduced for both leaf and fruit samples by the elimination of vitamins and organic acids, but the antioxidant and metalloproteinases inhibitory activities were potentiated. The antioxidant activity and the MMP-9 inhibitory activity of the polyphenol-enriched fractions of A. unedo tissues were similar or higher than those of blackberry and green tea, which have been recognized in the literature as highly effective. The phenolic profile of the fruit was dominated by gallic acid and quercetin derivatives with smaller amounts of proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins. The phenolic profile of the leaves was also dominated by gallic acid derivatives, flavonol derivatives and some tannins but lacked anthocyanins. The fractions obtained from both strawberry tree tissues seem to be quite promising as antioxidants and antiproliferative agents. Further cell-based assays are underway to study these possible outcomes.
Abstract: Naturally occurring antioxidants present in bilberry were separated into three groups: vitamin C, phenolic acids and flavonoids using solid phase extraction (SPE). Chemical composition of bilberry extract fractions was obtained by spectrophotometry and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results of HPLC analysis point out the high content of vitamin C (1529 μg/g) in fraction Fr1, flavonoids (1328.58 μg/g) in fraction Fr2 and phenolic acids (494.31 μg/g) in fraction Fr3. The free radical scavenging activities of these antioxidant fractions on superoxide anion radicals and detection of free radical intermediates was studied using electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy. Superoxide anion free…radical assay demonstrated very potent free radical scavenging activity of bilberry extract fractions. The results of correlation analysis showed that the separated classes of antioxidants from bilberry (vitamin C, flavonoids and phenolic acids) are responsible for its antioxidant activity.
Abstract: Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and its major polyphenolic constituents, the anthocyanins, are discussed to be preventive against diseases, such as colon cancer or inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), are associated with oxidative stress. Therefore the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) might be a target for prevention of these diseases. In this study antioxidative efficiency of a commercially available anthocyanin rich bilberry extract (BE) was investigated in vitro in the human colon tumor cell lines Caco-2 and HT-29. The cell cytotoxicity of the BE was measured by alamar blue assay. Modulation of intracellular generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels was…investigated by dichlorfluorescein assay (DCF). Oxidative DNA damage was monitored by single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay) with additional treatment of the DNA with formamido-pyrimidinglycosylase (FPG) to enhance sensitivity towards ROS induced DNA lesions. Modulation of the total glutathione (tGSH) level was assayed in a photometric kinetic assay. In a two step protocol cells were first treated with the protective extract (5–500 μg/ml; 1 and 24 h) and then with the redox-cycler menadione (Md) (HT-29: 20 μM and Caco-2: 6 μM) or the oxidant TBH (tert-butyl hydroperoxide) (250 μM, 40 min). Under all conditions tested BE was not cytotoxic in Caco-2 and HT-29 cells. The data achieved revealed that BE significantly reduce ROS level in HT-29 (250 μg/ml; 24 h, p < 0.05) and Caco-2 (50 μg/ml; 1 h, p < 0.05) cells. Significant decrease of induced DNA damage was detected in Caco-2 cells after BE treatment (5 μg/ml; 24 h; FPG, p < 0.05). Trend towards increase of tGSH was observed at concentrations of 50–500 μg/ml BE in Caco-2 cells after 24 h incubation. In total, the BE was shown to possess antioxidative activity under the used assay conditions towards prevention of oxidative DNA damage, reduction of intracellular ROS and cellular tGSH.
Keywords: Anthocyanins, bilberries, antioxidants, DNA damage, glutathione, ROS, cytotoxicity
Abstract: To evaluate the health promoting attributes of fruits and their compounds the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd (PFR) is using exercise as a model for oxidative stress and immune depression. Regular exercise has health benefits believed to be derived from adaptive responses to moderate oxidative stress. However, following exhaustive or unaccustomed exercise, excessive and prolonged oxidative stress and inflammation can be detrimental and the right balance of modulation from nutritional support via fruit phytochemicals (and vitamins) may prevent damage, aid recovery, and/or enhance muscular and immune function. We have developed a research platform to evaluate physical…health, performance and recovery to position new fruit varieties in this area. Utilising compositional analysis of fruit extracts, in vitro screening of muscle cells, electrically stimulated muscle ex vivo, and animal and human intervention and exercise trials, we are evaluating the physical health-promoting effects of polyphenolic phytochemicals derived from fruit, particularly berry fruits. Our research demonstrates that certain fruits may complement the benefits of regular exercise through appropriate modulation of excessive oxidative stress and inflammation.
Abstract: Evidence suggests that a combination of oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and the formation of endogenous neurotoxins contribute to the underlying neuronal death associated with neurodegenerative diseases. In this study we have investigated the ability of the berry-derived flavonoids to protect against neuronal damage induced by neuroinflammation and the neurotoxin 5-S-cysteinyl-dopamine. The flavanols (+)-catechin and (−)-epicatechin, but not the anthocyanidin pelargonidin, were observed to attenuate LPS/IFN-γ-induced TNF-α production in glial cells and associated neuronal injury. In contrast, pre-treatment of primary cortical neurons with pelargonidin, (+)-catechin and (−)-epicatechin (0.1 and 0.3 μM) resulted in concentration-dependant protection against 5-S-cysteinyl-dopamine-induced neurotoxicity. Together these data suggest…that berry-derived flavonoids may offer some protection against the neuronal injury relevant to the aetiology of the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Abstract: Polli Horticultural Research Centre (58°7′N;25°32′E) in Estonia has focused on selecting cultivars with high productivity and suitable to use in local climatic conditions since 1945. Besides important agronomic characteristics, more attention has been recently paid to fruit quality and content of various bioactive compounds. The results of a biochemical analysis of 4 prospective black currant selections (10B, 2-96-51, 1-96-16, 4-96-1), 4 new cultivars (‘Karri’, ‘Almo’, ‘Ats’, ‘Elo’) from our own breeding program and 7 introduced cultivars (‘Öjebyn’, ‘Zagadka’, ‘Ben Sarek’, ‘Intercontinental’, ‘Pamyati Vavilova’, ‘Titania’ and ‘Pilenai’) are presented. In addition to the analysis of main biochemical characteristics, the anthocyanin content…of the berries was determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The total anthocyanin content of the berries varied in a wide range. The highest anthocyanin content was found in the cultivar ‘Almo’ (212 ± 9 mg/100 g) and the lowest in ‘Ben Sarek’ (83 ± 24 mg/100 g). The ascorbic acid content varied from 98 mg/100 g with ‘Ats’ to 209 mg/100 g with elite selection 4-96-1. The polyphenol composition of the black currant leaves was determined by HPLC, the compounds were identified using polyphenol commercial standards and/or compounds mass spectrometric (MS) characteristics.
Keywords: Black currant, seedlings, fruit quality, leaves, poly phenol composition