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Biochemical and Molecular Study of Carpobrotus edulis Bioactive Properties and Their Effects on Dugesia sicula (Turbellaria, Tricladida) Regeneration


The traditional medicinal properties of Carpobrotus edulis are well recognized, particularly in Tunisia where it is used for wound healing. Thus, in this study, biochemical and molecular properties of its leaves’ bioactive aqueous-acetone extract were investigated. The total phenolic content (TPC) of the extract was estimated to be 184 ± 5 mg/100 g of fresh matter (FM). The qualitative and quantitative polyphenolic profile was determined by ultra performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection (UPLC-DAD) and showed that chlorogenic acid was the major compound (43.7%). The extract exhibits potent antioxidant capacities with IC50 = 56.19 and 58.91 μg/ml, as accessed via the anionic DPPH and cationic ABTS radical scavenging assays, respectively. The extract has high antibacterial properties, especially against the Gram+ Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus strains. To investigate the extract effect on regeneration, the flatworm Dugesia sicula Lepori, 1948, was used as a model. The macroscopic analysis of planarian cultures in ordinary medium containing phenolic extract at non-toxic concentrations illustrated that the extract caused morphological changes. Additionally, the molecular study through the fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) technique showed that C. edulis polyphenols can harm the stem cells’ development. These results emphasize the ecotoxicological impact of phenolic rejections in the environment on flatworms’ physiology.

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This work has been supported, in part, by a fellowship grant to Emna MEDDEB, by recurrent funding from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. We thank Henning Schmitz (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster, Germany) for help with the FACS technique.

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Correspondence to Emna Meddeb.

Electronic supplementary material

Supplementary Table 1

Antibacterial potentials of the Carpobrotus edulis extracts and Ampicillin as positive control. (DOCX 13 kb)

Supplementary Figure 1

Graphical presentation of the One-way ANOVA of the the Carpobrotus edulis antibacterial potential. (DOCX 45 kb)

Supplementary Figure 2

Planarian in the 7th day of regeneration. A. untreated planarian. B. Planarian treated with 75% MIC. C. Planarian treated with 100% MIC. (DOCX 663 kb)

Supplementary Figure 3

Graphical presentation of the One-way ANOVA of the morphometric characters. (*) Significant results. (DOCX 41 kb)

Supplementary Figure 4

Planarian treated with 15 mg/ml of Carpobrotus edulis polyphenol extract. Eyes are shown by yellow arrows ends. (DOCX 1095 kb)

Supplementary Figure 5

Count different cell populations of irradiated (a), untreated (b) and treated animals with Carpobrotus edulis polyphenols (c). (DOCX 255 kb)

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Meddeb, E., Charni, M., Ghazouani, T. et al. Biochemical and Molecular Study of Carpobrotus edulis Bioactive Properties and Their Effects on Dugesia sicula (Turbellaria, Tricladida) Regeneration. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 182, 1131–1143 (2017).

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  • Polyphenols
  • Carpobrotus edulis
  • Antioxidant
  • Antimicrobial
  • Planarian
  • FACS