From Ethnomedicine to Plant Biotechnology and Machine Learning: The Valorization of the Medicinal Plant Bryophyllum sp

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020 Dec 4;13(12):444. doi: 10.3390/ph13120444.


The subgenus Bryophyllum includes about 25 plant species native to Madagascar, and is widely used in traditional medicine worldwide. Different formulations from Bryophyllum have been employed for the treatment of several ailments, including infections, gynecological disorders, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, neurological and neoplastic diseases. Two major families of secondary metabolites have been reported as responsible for these bioactivities: phenolic compounds and bufadienolides. These compounds are found in limited amounts in plants because they are biosynthesized in response to different biotic and abiotic stresses. Therefore, novel approaches should be undertaken with the aim of achieving the phytochemical valorization of Bryophyllum sp., allowing a sustainable production that prevents from a massive exploitation of wild plant resources. This review focuses on the study of phytoconstituents reported on Bryophyllum sp.; the application of plant tissue culture methodology as a reliable tool for the valorization of bioactive compounds; and the application of machine learning technology to model and optimize the full phytochemical potential of Bryophyllum sp. As a result, Bryophyllum species can be considered as a promising source of plant bioactive compounds, with enormous antioxidant and anticancer potential, which could be used for their large-scale biotechnological exploitation in cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries.

Keywords: Bryophyllum; antioxidants; artificial intelligence; bioactive and phenolic compounds; bufadienolides; cytotoxic activity; plant tissue culture; secondary metabolism; traditional medicine.

Publication types

  • Review