Cynara cardunculus: L. represents a natural source of terpenic compounds, with the predominant molecule being cynaropicrin. Cynaropicrin is gaining interest since it has been correlated to anti-hyperlipidaemia, antispasmodic and cytotoxicity activity against leukocyte cancer cells. The objective of this work was to screen a collection of C. cardunculus, from different origins, for new allelic variants in germacrene A synthase (GAS) gene involved in the cynaropicrin biosynthesis and correlate them with improved cynaropicrin content and biological activities. Using high-resolution melting, nine haplotypes were identified. The putative impact of the identified allelic variants in GAS protein was evaluated by bioinformatic tools and polymorphisms that putatively lead to protein conformational changes were described. Additionally, cynaropicrin and main pentacyclic triterpenes contents, and antithrombin, antimicrobial and antiproliferative activities were also determined in C. cardunculus leaf lipophilic-derived extracts. In this work we identified allelic variants with putative impact on GAS protein, which are significantly associated with cynaropicrin content and antiproliferative activity. The results obtained suggest that the identified polymorphisms should be explored as putative genetic markers correlated with biological properties in Cynara cardunculus.
- Association analysis
- Biological activities
- Cynara cardunculus
- Germacrene A synthase
- Single nucleotide polymorphisms