Food grade fungal stress on germinating peanut seeds induced phytoalexins and enhanced polyphenolic antioxidants

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jun 8;59(11):5993-6003. doi: 10.1021/jf200776w. Epub 2011 May 17.


The effects of food grade fungus Rhizopus oligosporus stress on phytochemicals and phytoalexins of germinating peanut seeds were investigated by comparing the metabolic profiles of ungerminated (UG), germinated (G), and germinated seeds under fungal stress (GS). Three types of peanut seeds with different skin color (red, reddish brown, and black) were compared in the process. The polyphenolic contents were analyzed and correlated with antioxidant capacity for specific free radicals including peroxyl radical ROO(•) (ORAC), hydroxyl radical HO(•) (HORAC), superoxide radical O(2)(•-) (SORAC), and DPPH radical. The polyphenolic fingerprints analyzed by HPLC and LC-MS(n) showed that phenolic acids (coumaric, sinapinic, and ferulic acids derivatives) were the major group of phenolic compounds in ungerminated seeds. G or GS increased the level of phenolic acids, phytoalexins, and antioxidant capacity values in reddish and red peanuts but not in black peanuts. From the LC-MS(n) spectral data, 45 compounds were identified tentatively in the germinated peanuts, including 14 coumaric acids, 3 ferulic acids, 4 sinapinic acids, 2 hydroxybenzoic acids, 1 caffeic acid, 2 flavonoids, and 19 stilbenoids derivatives. Reddish brown germinated peanuts produced the highest amount of phytoalexins after GS with 55 compounds detected. Forty-five of these compounds were suggested as stilbenoid phytoalexins derivatives. The high content of phytoalexins may enhance the bioactivity of peanut seeds as functional food ingredients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Arachis / chemistry
  • Arachis / growth & development
  • Arachis / metabolism*
  • Arachis / microbiology*
  • Flavonoids / metabolism*
  • Germination*
  • Phenols / metabolism*
  • Phytoalexins
  • Polyphenols
  • Rhizopus / physiology*
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Seeds / growth & development*
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Seeds / microbiology
  • Sesquiterpenes / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Phytoalexins