Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 223–224 | Cite as

Duckweed for Human Nutrition: No Cytotoxic and No Anti-Proliferative Effects on Human Cell Lines

  • K. Sowjanya Sree
  • Hans-Martin Dahse
  • Jima N. Chandran
  • Bernd Schneider
  • Gerhard Jahreis
  • Klaus J. AppenrothEmail author
Short Communication


Duckweeds (Lemnaceae) possess good qualitative and quantitative profiles of nutritional components for its use as human food. However, no studies have been conducted on the probable presence or absence of any adverse effects. The extracts from seven duckweed species (Spirodela polyrhiza, Landoltia punctata, Lemna gibba, Lemna minor, Wolffiella hyalina, Wolffia globosa, and Wolffia microscopica) covering all five genera of the plant family were herewith tested for cytotoxic effects on the human cell lines HUVEC, K-562, and HeLa and for anti-proliferative activity on HUVEC and K-562 cell lines. From these assays, it is evident that duckweeds do not possess any detectable anti-proliferative or cytotoxic effects, thus, the high nutritional value is not diminished by such detrimental factors. The present result is a first step to exclude any harmful effects of highly nutritious duckweed for human.


Cytotoxicity Duckweed Human cell lines Lemnaceae Nutrition Wolffia 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11130_2019_725_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 22 kb)
11130_2019_725_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceCentral University of KeralaPeriyeIndia
  2. 2.Department of Infection BiologyLeibniz-Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection BiologyJenaGermany
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Biosynthesis/ NMRJenaGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of JenaJenaGermany
  5. 5.Department of Plant PhysiologyUniversity of JenaJenaGermany

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