Naturwissenschaften

, 95:781 | Cite as

Plant origin of Okinawan propolis: honeybee behavior observation and phytochemical analysis

  • Shigenori Kumazawa
  • Jun Nakamura
  • Masayo Murase
  • Mariko Miyagawa
  • Mok-Ryeon Ahn
  • Shuichi Fukumoto
Short Communication

Abstract

Propolis is a natural resinous product collected by honeybees from certain plants. It has gained popularity as a food and alternative medicine. Poplar and Baccharis are well known as the source plants of European and Brazilian propolis, respectively. However, the propolis from Okinawa, Japan, contains some prenylflavonoids not seen in other regions such as Europe and Brazil, suggesting that the plant origin of Okinawan propolis is a particular plant that grows in Okinawa. To identify the plant origin of Okinawan propolis, we observed the behavior of honeybees as they collected material from plants and caulked it inside the hive. Honeybees scraped resinous material from the surface of plant fruits of Macaranga tanarius and brought it back to their hive to use it as propolis. We collected samples of the plant and propolis, and compared their constituents by high-performance liquid chromatography with a photo-diode array detector. We also compared their 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl radical scavenging activity. The chemical constituents and biological activity of the ethanol extracts of the plant did not differ from those of propolis. This indicates directly that the plant origin of Okinawan propolis is M. tanarius.

Keywords

Apis mellifera Propolis Okinawa Plant origin Macaranga tanarius Prenylflavonoid 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Mr. Tsutomu Aragaki (Aragaki Beefarm Inc., Okinawa) for providing his apiary for our research. This work was supported by the Program for Creating Okinawa Innovation of Cabinet Office, Government of Japan and a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

References

  1. Ahn MR, Kumazawa S, Hamasaka T, Bang KS, Nakayama T (2004) Antioxidant activity and constituents of propolis collected in various areas of Korea. J Agric Food Chem 52:7286–7292PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahn MR, Kumazawa S, Usui Y, Nakamura J, Matsuka M, Zhu F, Nakayama T (2007) Antioxidant activity and constituents of propolis collected in various areas of China. Food Chem 101:1400–1409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amoros M, Lurton E, Boustie J, Girre L, Sauvager F, Cormier M (1994) Comparison of the anti-herpes simplex virus activities of propolis and 3-methylbut-2-enyl caffeate. J Nat Prod 64:235–240Google Scholar
  4. Bankova V (2005a) Chemical diversity of propolis and the problem of standardization. J Ethnopharmacol 100:114–117PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bankova V (2005b) Recent trends and important developments in propolis research. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2:29–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bankova V, Marcucci MC (2000) Standardization of propolis: present status and perspectives. Bee World 81:182–188Google Scholar
  7. Bankova V, de Castro SL, Marcucci MC (2000) Propolis: recent advances in chemistry and plant origin. Apidologie 31:3–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bankova V, Popova M, Bogdanov S, Sabatini AG (2002) Chemical composition of European propolis: expected and unexpected results. Z Naturforsch 57c:530–533Google Scholar
  9. Bankova V, Popova M, Trusheva B (2006) Plant sources of propolis: an update from a chemist’s point of view. Nat Prod Commun 1:1023–1028Google Scholar
  10. Chen CN, Weng MS, Wu CL, Lin JK (2004) Comparison of radical scavenging activity, cytotoxic effects and apoptosis induction in human melanoma cells by Taiwanese propolis from different sources. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 1:175–185PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guhling O, Kinzler C, Dreyer M, Bringmann G, Jetter R (2005) Surface composition of myrmecophilic plants: cuticular wax and glandular trichomes on leaves of Macaranga tanarius. J Chem Ecol 31:2323–2341PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hamasaka T, Kumazawa S, Fujimoto T, Nakayama T (2004) Antioxidant activity and constituents of propolis collected in various areas of Japan. Food Sci Technol Res 10:86–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heil M, Koch T, Hilpert A, Fiala B, Boland W, Linsenmair K (2001) Extrafloral nectar production of the ant-associated plant, Macaranga tanarius, is an induced, indirect, defensive response elicited by jasmonic acid. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 98:1083–1088PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huang W-J, Huang C-H, Wu C-L, Lin J-K, Chen Y-W, Lin C-L, Chuang S-E, Huang C-Y, Chen C-N (2007) Propolin G, a prenylflavanone, isolated from Taiwanese propolis, induced caspase-dependent apoptosis in brain cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem 55:7366–7376PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kimoto T, Aga M, Hino K, Koya-Miyata S, Yamamoto Y, Micallef MJ, Hanaya T, Arai S, Ikeda M, Kurimoto M (2001) Apoptosis of human leukemia cells induced by artepillin C, an active ingredient of Brazilian propolis. Anticancer Res 21:221–228PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kujumgiev A, Tsvetkova I, Serkedjieva Y, Bankova V, Christov R, Popov S (1999) Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity of propolis of different geographic origin. J Ethnopharmacol 64:235–240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kumazama S, Taniguchi M, Suzuki Y, Shimura M, Kwon M-S, Nakayama T (2002) Antioxidant activity of polyphenols in carob pods. J Agric Food Chem 50:373–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kumazawa S, Yoneda M, Shibata I, Kanaeda J, Hamasaka T, Nakayama T (2003) Direct evidence for the plant origin of Brazilian propolis by the observation of honeybee behavior and phytochemical analysis. Chem Pharm Bull 51:740–742PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kumazawa S, Hamasaka T, Nakayama T (2004a) Antioxidant activity of propolis from various geographic origins. Food Chem 84:329–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kumazawa S, Goto H, Hamasaka T, Fukumoto S, Fujimoto T, Nakayama T (2004b) A new prenylated flavonoid from propolis collected in Okinawa, Japan. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 68:260–262PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kumazawa S, Ueda R, Hamasaka T, Fukumoto S, Fujimoto T, Nakayama T (2007) Antioxidant prenylated flavonoids from propolis collected in Okinawa, Japan. J Agric Food Chem 55:7722–7725PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marcucci MC (1995) Propolis: chemical composition, biological properties and therapeutic activity. Apidologie 26:83–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marcucci MC, Bankova V (1999) Chemical composition, plant origin and biological activity of Brazilian propolis. Curr Top Phytochem 2:115–123Google Scholar
  24. Nakamura J, Seeley TD (2006) The functional organization of resin work in honeybee colonies. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 3:339–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Phommart S, Sutthivaiyakit P, Chimnoi N, Ruchirawat S, Sutthivaiyakit S (2005) Constituents of the leaves of Macaranga tanarius. J Nat Prod 68:927–930PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tseng MH, Chou CH, Chen YM, Kuo YH (2001) Allelopathic prenylflavanones from the fallen leaves of Macaranga tanarius. J Nat Prod 64:827–828PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tseng MH, Kuo YH, Chen YM, Chou CH (2003) Allelopathic potential of Macaranga tanarius (L.) Muell.-Arg. J Chem Ecol 29:1269–1285PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yakushijin K, Shibayama K, Murata H, Furukawa H (1980) New prenylflavanones from Hernandia nymphaefolia (Presl) Kubitzki. Heterocycles 14:397–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shigenori Kumazawa
    • 1
  • Jun Nakamura
    • 2
  • Masayo Murase
    • 1
  • Mariko Miyagawa
    • 2
  • Mok-Ryeon Ahn
    • 1
  • Shuichi Fukumoto
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity of ShizuokaShizuokaJapan
  2. 2.Honeybee Science Research CenterTamagawa UniversityMachidaTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Pokka CorporationKitanagoyaAichiJapan

Personalised recommendations