Metabolic profiling of Commiphora wightii (guggul) reveals a potential source for pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals

Anil Bhatia, Santosh K. Bharti, Tusha Tripathi, Anuradha Mishra, Om P. Sidhu, Raja Roy, Chandra Shekhar Nautiyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Guggul gum resin from Commiphora wightii (syn. Commiphora mukul) has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to treat a variety of ailments. The NMR and GC-MS based non-targeted metabolite profiling identified 118 chemically diverse metabolites including amino acids, fatty acids, organic acids, phenolic acids, pregnane-derivatives, steroids, sterols, sugars, sugar alcohol, terpenoids, and tocopherol from aqueous and non-aqueous extracts of leaves, stem, roots, latex and fruits of C. wightii. Out of 118, 51 structurally diverse aqueous metabolites were characterized by NMR spectroscopy. For the first time quinic acid and myo-inositol were identified as the major metabolites in C. wightii. Very high concentration of quinic acid was found in fruits (553.5 ± 39.38 mg g-1 dry wt.) and leaves (212.9 ± 10.37 mg g-1 dry wt.). Similarly, high concentration of myo-inositol (168.8 ± 13.84 mg g-1 dry wt.) was observed from fruits. The other metabolites of cosmeceutical, medicinal, nutraceutical and industrial significance such as α-tocopherol, n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), trans-farnesol, prostaglandin F2, protocatechuic, gallic and cinnamic acids were identified from non-aqueous extracts using GC-MS. These important metabolites have thus far not been reported from this plant. Isolation of a fungal endophyte, (Nigrospora sps.) from this plant is the first report. The fungal endophyte produced a substantial quantity of bostrycin and deoxybostrycin known for their antitumor properties. Very high concentrations of quinic acid and myo-inositol in leaves and fruits; a substantial quantity of α-tocopherol and NMP in leaves, trans-farnesol in fruits, bostrycin and deoxybostrycin from its endophyte makes the taxa distinct, since these metabolites with medicinal properties find immense applications as dietary supplements and nutraceuticals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Commiphora wightii
  • GC-MS
  • Metabolite profiling
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • PCA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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