Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2006
Publication Date: 5/17/2006
Citation: Sobolev, V.S., Horn, B.W., Potter, T.L., Deyrup, S.T., Gloer, J.B. 2006. Production of stilbenoids and phenolic acids by the peanut plant at early stages of growth. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 54(10):3505-3511. Interpretive Summary: Peanuts are often infected by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus and, as the result, become contaminated with the carcinogenic aflatoxins. Aflatoxins may cause significant economic loss and threaten human and animal health. Peanuts can naturally resist fungal infection by producing antifungal compounds called phytoalexins. These relatively simple chemicals inhibit the growth of invading microorganisms and may play a key defensive role in peanuts; however, the mechanism of action of phytoalexins is not fully understood. The purpose of this work was to characterize natural, preformed protective compounds in peanuts at early stages of growth under controlled laboratory conditions. The different organs of the fungus-free peanut plant produced specific phytoalexins and other compounds. Knowledge of the defensive capacity of peanuts is necessary for optimizing peanut resistance to fungal infection.
Technical Abstract: The peanut plant (Arachis hypogaea) is known to produce stilbene phytoalexins as a defensive response to exogenous stimuli. This research demonstrates the ability of different organs of the peanut plant at early stages of growth under axenic conditions to produce a stilbenoid, resveratrol, as well as bound and free phenolic acids. Both resveratrol and phenolic acids were not found in the root mucilage; the prenylated stilbenes were restricted to the mucilage and were not found in other organs of the peanut plant. These findings may lead to a better understanding of the defensive role of peanut phenolic compounds.