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Journal of Food and Drug Analysis

Melilotus albus and Dorycnium herbaceum extracts as source of phenolic compounds and their antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and antioxidant potentials

Olgica D. Stefanovic, , Jelena D. Tešic, Ljiljana R. Comic

Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac, Serbia.


Melilotus albus Medic. and Dorycnium herbaceum Vill. (Fabaceae) acetone, ethyl acetate, and ethanol extracts were investigated for their in vitro antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and antioxidant activity with quantification of phenolic compound contents. In general, D. herbaceum extracts showed better antibacterial and antioxidant activity than M. albus extracts. Bacteria Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Proteus mirabilis were the most susceptible with the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs), determined by microdilution method, between 1.25–10 mg/mL. Antifungal activity was lower with the detectable MICs at 10 mg/mL and 20 mg/mL. The plant extracts, using the crystal violet assay, inhibit P. aeruginosa biofilm formation in concentration range from 5 mg/mL to 20 mg/mL whereas the effect on mature bacterial biofilm was lower. The antioxidant activity was evaluated using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals scavenging and reducing power model systems. The intensity of DPPH radicals scavenging activity, expressed as half maximal effective concentration (EC50) values, was from 84.33 μg/mL to >1000 μg/mL. The extracts demonstrated reduced power in a concentration-dependent manner, with ethanol extract as the most active. The total phenols, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins were determined spectrophotometrically while total extractable tannins were obtained by precipitation method. The phenolic compounds showed differences in their total contents depending on solvents polarities and plant species. Although the plants M. albus and D. herbaceum have not yet been fully explored, these results contribute better understanding of their biotic properties and potential application as antimicrobial and antioxidant agents.

Keywords: antimicrobial activity; antioxidant activity; phenolic compounds; plant extracts.

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