Dioscorea (biochemistry)

Name: Dioscorea (biochemistry)

Dioscorea -Dioscorea deltoides Wall., D. floribunda Mart, et Gai. and other types



D. deltoides – from Pakistan, D. floribunda – from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica; cultivated in the USA and Puerto Rico.

Dioscorea species are perennial herbaceous climbing plants. In D. deltoides (as well as domestic industrial species D. nipponica Makono-D. polystachya Turcz. and D. caucasica Up sky), the raw materials are highly developed (branched and thickened) rhizomes with roots (Rhizoma cum radia bus Dioscoreae) B then while D. floribunda feeds on root tubers.

The rhizomes and tubers of these plants are rich in steroidal saponins (dioscin, gracillin, etc.) containing diosgenin, which is used for the synthesis of cortisone and other steroid hormones.

In gracillin, the combination of sugars is reversed; two molecules of glucose and one rhamnose.

Plants of the genus Dioscorea, also known as yams, are better known as food plants. The most common of them are: Asian yam – D. alata L., the most ancient culture of India, the Philippines, Polynesia; round yam – D. rotundata Poir., cultivated in tropical West Africa and in the Comoros and Antilles; Chinese yam, sweet potato, sweet potato – D. balatus Dene, cultivated in many countries of Asia (China, Japan, India, Indonesia, etc.), South America (Brazil), Africa (Uganda, etc.), Southern Europe ( Spain, USSR), and others. The tubers of edible yams reach enormous sizes (up to 5 kg). Flour is prepared from them, starch is produced. It is characteristic that even food yams contain poisonous saponins in the outer parts of the tubers (for example, D. sansibarensis Pax from tropical Africa or D. bulbifera L.

The plant contains steroidal saponins



Most of the genins of these saponins are based on a steroidal structure that has a spiroketal group due to the oxidation of the side chain of 8 carbon atoms and the 16-OP group and the closure of E and F through C 17 .

Some sapogenins may be of the furostane type, without the P ring.





Saponins are natural substances that are glycosides, in which steroids or triterpenes can be aglycones (sapogenins). They are united by similar physical and chemical properties, among which the most characteristic is the ability of their aqueous solutions, when shaken, to foam strongly like soap, forming a stable, long-lasting foam.

In addition to surface activity, most saponins combine hemolytic activity and toxicity to cold-blooded animals.

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