Antibacterial screening of Rumex species native to the Carpathian Basin and bioactivity-guided isolation of compounds from Rumex aquaticus

Orsolya Orbán-Gyapai, Erika Liktor-Busa, Norbert Kúsz, Dóra Stefkó, Edit Urbán, Judit Hohmann, A. Vasas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Plants belonging to the genus Rumex (family Polygonaceae) are used worldwide in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases caused by different microorganisms (e.g. bacteria-related dermatologic conditions, dysentery and enteritis). The present study focused on the antibacterial screening of Rumex species native to the Carpathian Basin, and isolation of compounds from one of the most efficient species, Rumex aquaticus. The antibacterial effects of n-hexane, chloroform and aqueous fractions of methanol extracts prepared from different parts of 14 Rumex species (R. acetosella, R. acetosa, R. alpinus, R. aquaticus, R. conglomeratus, R. crispus, R. hydrolapathum, R. obtusifolius subsp. obtusifolius, R. obtusifolius subsp. subalpinus, R. patientia, R. pulcher, R. scutatus, R. stenophyllus and R. thyrsiflorus) were investigated against Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, MRSA, Bacillus subtilis, Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pyogenes, S. pneumoniae, S. agalactiae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae using the disc diffusion method. Mainly the n-hexane and chloroform extracts prepared from the roots of the plants displayed high antibacterial activity (inhibition zones > 15 mm) against one or more bacterial strains. The highly active extracts of the aerial part and root of R. aquaticus were subjected to a multistep separation procedure. 19 Compounds, among them naphthalenes (musizin, and its glucoside, torachrysone-glucoside, 2-methoxystypandrone), anthraquinones (emodin, chrysophanol, physcion, citreorosein, chrysophanol-8-O-glucoside), flavonoids (quercetin, quercetin-3,3′-dimethylether, isokaempferide, quercetin 3-O-arabinoside, quercetin 3-O-galactoside, catechin), stilbenes (resveratrol, piceid), and 1-stearoylglycerol were isolated from the plant. The antibacterial activities of isolated compounds were determined, and it was observed that especially naphthalenes exerted remarkable antibacterial effects against several bacterial strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


  • 2-methoxystypandrone
  • Antibacterial activity
  • Musizin
  • Polygonaceae
  • Rumex aquaticus
  • Rumex species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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