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Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari—A Natural Source of Guggulsterone: Facing a High Risk of Extinction in Its Natural Habitat  [PDF]
Neeraj Jain, Rajani S. Nadgauda
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2013.46A009

The plants are the primary producers and an indispensible source of food and nutrition, medicine and fuel/biofuel. Unsustainable overharvesting and indiscriminate felling of plants due to ever increasing needs of population pressure are causes of great concern. The IUCN includes, the species facing a high risk of extinction in the wild as threatened, and “endangered” is one of the sub-categories under “threatened” category. Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari is an arid region plant, highly valued for its medicinally important guggul gum-resin as a source of guggulsterone. It is listed in IUCN’s Red Data List of threatened plants and now it is becoming endangered. Its population is fast depleting in its natural habitat, primarily due to over-exploitation, unsustainable and destructive methods of gum-extraction coupled with natural dry-arid habitat, slow growth and poor regeneration of the plant. Several other reasons have also been indicated for its declining population. Therefore, it demands severe measures for its conservation before we completely lose this important medicinal plant. A lot of research and study is underway but has vast scope for improvement, requiring efforts to supplement with such information that would aid transgenic development and breeding programmes for production and cultivation of improved varieties. The article presents the importance of this plant and its conservation in a nut-shell.

Journal of Plant Development , 2010,
Abstract: Commiphora wightii (Arn.) Bhandari, is a medicinal important desert species of the family Burseraceae. It is a well known for its valuable active principle found in its oleo-gum-resin (guggulsterone E and Z), which are used in drugs preparation for lowering the cholesterol level in human body. Due to its overexploitation, poor natural regeneration this valuable plant is on the verge of extinction and thus a IUCN Red listed species. In the present study we report development of an efficient micropropagation protocol from cotyledonary node of Commiphora wightii. Cotyledonary nodes were used as an explants and multiple microshoots were obtained on Murashige & Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 2.68 μM a-Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and 4.44 μM 6-Benzylamino purine (BAP) and on 2.68 μM NAA; 4.44 μM BAP with additives (glutamine 684.2 μM; thiamine 29.65 μM; activated charcoal 0.3%) and various other hormonal combinations. Elongation of microshoot was significantly observed on the 2.46 μM Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and 2.22 μM BAP supplemented MS medium. Efficient rooting was obtained on pretreated microshoot (4.92 μM IBA for 24 hours) and followed by transfer to White’s medium without Plant Growth Regulators (PGR) and high concentration of activated charcoal (AC). Rooted micro-shoots were transferred to vermiculite and wetted with Hoagland’s solution for primary hardening for 4-5 weeks and then finally transferred to plastic cups containing vermiculite, placed in mist chamber. Plantlets were transferred to soil: FYM 1:1 containing poly-bags, then to green shade house for complete acclimatization and finally transplanted to the experimental field.
Journal of Plant Development , 2012,
Abstract: A refined and an efficient protocol for in vitro clonal propagation of Commiphora wightii, a red-listed desert plant of medicinal importance, has been developed from nodal segment of mature plant. Nodal segments from new branches having 6-7 nodes were excised after discarding the initial 5-6 cm terminal portion and were surface sterilized with 2.5% NaOCl (sodium hypochlorite), (v/v). MS medium [MURASHIGE & SKOOG, 1962] with different concentrations of BAP (6-benzylaminopurine) was used alone and in combinations with IAA (indole-3-acetic acid), NAA (α-naphthalene acetic acid), Kn (kinetin) and other additives for shoot induction. Best bud break response (84.5%) was obtained on MS medium supplemented with 8.88 μM BAP, 0.57 μM IAA and additives (50 mg l-1 ascorbic acid, 25 mg l-1 citric acid and 25 mg l-1 adenine sulphate) within 2 weeks of inoculation. The micro-shoots were subcultured and maintained for further elongation on the same medium for 4 weeks. Best shoot multiplication was obtained on same medium as used for shoot initiation. Best rooting was obtained when the shoots were initially given a 24 h pulse treatment in liquid MS medium supplemented with 4.92 μM IBA (indole-3-butyric acid) and 5.71 μM IAA under dark condition, followed by transfer to semi-solid half-strength hormone-free MS medium supplemented with 2% (w/v) sucrose and 0.5% (w/v) activated charcoal. High (86.7%) percent rooting was achieved after 4-5 weeks with 3-4 multiple adventitious roots of 5-6 cm length. These in vitro raised well rooted plantlets were acclimatized in a two step manner. During in vitro hardening step, the survival was 61.5% and during ex vitro hardening step it was 100%. Hardened plants (10-12 cm in height) were transferred to polythene-bags filled with mixture of soil and FYM in the ratio of 2:1 (v/v) and were kept in 75% agro-net shade for one month, where they gained height up to 60 cm. Five month old hardened plants were planted in open field condition for evaluation of these tissue cultured raised plants. There is cent percent survival of these field grown plants over period of two years with no visible morphological abnormalities. Genetic fidelity test was carried out for these in vitro raised plants by using RAPD primers (OPA and OPN). Uniform banding pattern was observed in all plants without any polymorphism.
Om Prakash Rout,Rabinarayan Acharya,Sagar Kumar Mishra
International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy , 2012,
Abstract: Guggulu is an oleogum resin that exudes spontaneously as a result of injury from the bark of Commiphora wightii Bhandari (Syn : Commiphora mukul Hook. ex Stocks or Balsamodendron mukul Hook. ex Stocks). In Ayurveda guggulu enters into the preparation of several compound medicines most of which are named with suffix ‘guggulu’. It is a complex mixture of steroids, diterpenoids, aliphatic esters, carbohydrates, amino acids and variety of inorganic compounds. Traditionally it is used to treat arthritis, obesity, and other disorders. Guggul has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. This review is an effort to compile all the available information reported on its macroscopic features, chemical constituents, pharmacological activities, toxicity and adverse reactions.
(20S)-20-Acetoxy-4-pregnene-3,16-dione from Commiphora wightii  [cached]
Sammer Yousuf,Rida Ahmed,Zulfiqar Ali,M. Iqbal Choudhary
Acta Crystallographica Section E , 2010, DOI: 10.1107/s1600536810047987
Abstract: The title triterpene compound, C23H32O4, isolated from Commiphora wightii features four trans-fused rings, among which the five-membered ring adopts an envelope conformation, the cyclohexene ring adopts a half-chair conformation and the two cyclohexane rings exist in chair conformations. The asymmetric unit contains two independent molecules. Weak intermolecular C—H...O hydrogen bonding is present in the crystal structure.
A Regioselective Synthesis of E-Guggulsterone  [PDF]
Jungyeob Ham,Jungwook Chin,Heonjoong Kang
Molecules , 2011, DOI: 10.3390/molecules16054165
Abstract: We have successfully prepared E-guggulsterone from 16,17-epoxy-pregnenolone in 84% yield over two steps via a hydrazine reduction and Oppenhauer oxidation. Additionally, isomerization was induced by heat, light (hn) and acid catalysis to convert E- guggulsterone into the corresponding Z isomer.
Intraspecific Variation in Commiphora wightii Populations Based on Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) Sequences of rDNA  [PDF]
Inamul Haque,Rajib Bandopadhyay,Kunal Mukhopadhyay
Diversity , 2009, DOI: 10.3390/d1020089
Abstract: Commiphora wightii is an endangered, endemic species found in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India and adjoining areas of Pakistan. The populations of this plant are rapidly dwindling due to overexploitation for their medicinally important resin. Analysis of nucleotide sequences of the internal transcribed spacer of rDNAs revealed low genetic diversity ( π = 0.03905; θ w = 0.05418) and high population structure ( ? ST = 0.206). Parsimony based assessment and Bayesian analyses were conducted on the dataset. Mantel’s test showed a statistically significant positive correlation between genetic and geographic distance (r 2 = 0.3647; p = 0.023). Anthropogenic overexploitation of C. wightii for its natural resources has resulted in population fragmentation. Initiatives should be taken immediately to preserve the diversity of this important plant species.
Antioxidant studies on the ethanolic extract of Commiphora spp.
VS Deepa, PS Kumar, S Latha, P Selvamani, S Srinivasan
African Journal of Biotechnology , 2009,
Abstract: This investigation elucidated the presence of phytochemical constituents and in vitro free radicals scavenging activity for nitric oxide, total reducing power, superoxide, lipid peroxidation and DPPH in the ethanolic leaves extract of Commiphora species; Commiphora caudata (CC) and Commiphora var pubescens (CP). The IC50 values of both the species were comparable to standard drugs, Quercitin (nitric oxide), vitamin C (superoxide), vitamin E (lipid peroxidation), vitamin C (DPPH). The results were analyzed statistically by regression analysis. In all the in vitro assays, the ethanolic extracts of the leaves showed its ability to scavenge free radicals in a dose dependent manner. However our study revealed that CC has potent antioxidant activity better than CP. Further investigation on the isolation, identification of antioxidant components in these plants may lead to chemical entities with the potential for clinical use and evalution of in vivo antioxidant activity.
Dammarane triterpenes from the resins of Commiphora confusa  [cached]
Aman Dekebo,Ermias Dagne,Pat Curry,Odd R. Gautun
Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia , 2002,
Abstract: The resin of Commiphora confusa afforded two new dammarane triterpenes, (3R,20S)-3,20-dihydroxydammar-24-ene and (3R,20S)-3-acetoxy-20-hydroxydammar-24-ene along with the known triterpenes, cabraleadiol 3-acetate and α-amyrin.
Operators for the Aharonov-Anandan and Samuel-Bhandari Phases  [PDF]
P. -L. Giscard
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: We construct an operator for the Aharonov-Anandan phase for time independent Hamiltonians. This operator is shown to generate the motion of cyclic quantum systems through an equation of evolution involving only geometric quantities, i.e. the distance between quantum states, the geometric phase and the total length of evolution. From this equation, we derive an operator for the Samuel and Bhandari phase (SB-phase) for non cyclic evolutions. Finally we show how the SB-phase can be used to construct an operator corresponding to a quantum clock which commutator with the Hamiltonian has a canonical expectation value.
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