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    ABSTRACT: The genus Verbascum (mulleins), belonging to the family Scrophulariaceae, comprises about 360 species of flowering plants. The leaves, flowers and whole aerial parts of Verbascum spp have been widely used in traditional medicine for the treatment of respiratory and inflammatory disorders and also display powerful wound healing activity. Verbascum species are found to accumulate several groups of bioactive molecules, therefore they might be utilized as attractive sources of new (drug) leads. The present review attempts to provide an up-to-date comprehensive overview on phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of Verbacum spp research along with some successful examples of growing (and transforming) mulleins in vitro.
    Phytochemistry Reviews 04/2014; DOI:10.1007/s11101-014-9361-5 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several ecological and genetic factors affect the diet specialization of insect herbivores. The evolution of specialization may be constrained by lack of genetic variation in herbivore performance on different food-plant species. By traditional view, trade-offs, that is, negative genetic correlations between the performance of the herbivores on different food-plant species favour the evolution of specialization. To investigate whether there is genetic variation or trade-offs in herbivore performance between different food plants that may influence specialization of the oligophagous seed-eating herbivore, Lygaeus equestris (Heteroptera), we conducted a feeding trial in laboratory using four food-plant species. Although L. equestris is specialized on Vincetoxicum hirundinaria (Apocynaceae) to some degree, it occasionally feeds on alternative food-plant species. We did not find significant negative genetic correlations between mortality, developmental time and adult biomass of L. equestris on the different food-plant species. We found genetic variation in mortality and developmental time of L. equestris on some of the food plants, but not in adult biomass. Our results suggest that trade-offs do not affect adaptation and specialization of L. equestris to current and novel food-plant species, but the lack of genetic variation may restrict food-plant utilization. As food-plant specialization of herbivores may have wide-ranging effects, for instance, on coevolving plant-herbivore interactions and speciation, it is essential to thoroughly understand the factors behind the specialization process. Our findings provide valuable information about the role of genetic factors in food-plant specialization of this oligophagous herbivore.
    Journal of Evolutionary Biology 12/2012; 26(1). DOI:10.1111/jeb.12037 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Verbascum thapsus L. [Khardhag or Common mullein], a member of the family Scrophulariaceae, is a famous herb that is found all over Europe, in temperate Asia, in North America and is well-reputed due to its medicinal properties. This medicinal herb contains various chemical constituents like saponins, iridoid and phenylethanoid glycosides, flavonoids, vitamin C and minerals. It is famous in various communities worldwide for the treatment of various disorders of both humans and animals aliments. A number of pharmacological activities such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, antiviral, antihepatotoxic and anti-hyperlipidemic activity have been ascribed to this plant. The plant is used to treat tuberculosis also, earache and bronchitis. In the present paper botanical and ethnomedicinal description, pharmacological profile and phytochemistry of this herb is being discussed.
    Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 11/2013; 23(6):948–959. DOI:10.1590/S0102-695X2013000600012 · 0.80 Impact Factor