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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2023, Vol. 22 Issue (1): 14-30    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.097
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Antioxidant lignans sesamin and sesamolin in sesame (Sesamum indicum L.): a comprehensive review and future prospects

Senouwa Segla Koffi DOSSOU1, 2, XU Fang-tao1, Komivi DOSSA3, 4, ZHOU Rong1, ZHAO Ying-zhong1, WANG Lin-hai1

1 Oil Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Oil Crops, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Wuhan 430062, P.R.China

2 Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology and Physiology, University of Lomé, Lome 01 BP 1515, Togo

3 French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD), Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants-UMR AGAP Institute, Montpellier F-34398, France    

4 UMR AGAP Institute, University of Montpellier, CIRAD, French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), Montpellier F-34398, France

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芝麻(Sesamum indicum L.)是一种具有较高营养价值和收益的经济作物,种植在世界80多个国家。在世界范围内,芝麻籽不仅是一种重要的食用油料,而且富含其他作物所缺少的抗氧化木脂素类化合物芝麻素和芝麻林素等。随着芝麻素等成分越来越多的的药理、保健功能被发现和证实,国际芝麻需求不断增加。当前,培育高芝麻素或高木酯素品种已成为主要育种目标之一,总结芝麻素和芝麻林素研究进展,探讨研究热点和存在的问题,对促进广大研究人员协同开展相关研究具有重要意义。本文系统梳理总结了芝麻素和芝麻林素在芝麻品种资源中的含量变异、生物合成途径、关联分子标记、调控基因位点等方面研究进展,并对其在芝麻自身生长发育中潜在的功能作用和最新研究发现的药理作用进行了论述。此外,综述还提出并讨论了未来对于开展分子育种,选育高芝麻素或高木酯素新品种急需开展的一些研究任务。芝麻素和芝麻林素在芝麻应对外界胁迫,包括生物和非生物逆境方面都表现出积极作用。芝麻素和芝麻林素还具有多种药理作用,对人民健康有益,如抗氧化、抗癌、抗炎、抗增殖、抗高血压等作用。尽管已报道有40多种植物中存在芝麻素或木酯素,但因含量较低或分子结构差异,未能像在芝麻中获得重视。芝麻中芝麻素和芝麻林素含量变异范围较大,一般在0.05~12.17mg/g和0 ~10mg/g之间,但多数含量仍比较低。尽管芝麻素和芝麻林素的合成代谢途径已基本清楚,但对于其含量变异的调控基因位点研究仍旧不足,目前尚未有调控功能明确的基因被鉴定,高含量育种仍旧缺乏高效的生物技术手段。


Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is a significantly lucrative cash crop for millions of small-holder farmers.  Its seeds are an important source of a highly appreciated vegetable oil globally and two clinically essential antioxidant lignans, sesamin and sesamolin.  Accordingly, many countries import millions of tons of sesame seed every year.  The demand for lignan-rich sesame seeds has been increasing in recent years due to the continuous discovery of several pharmacological attributes of sesamin and sesamolin.  To meet this demand, the sesame breeder’s primary objective is to release sesame cultivars that are enriched in oil and lignans.  Thus, it is necessary to summarize the information related to the sesamin and sesamolin contents in sesame in order to promote the joint efforts of specialized research teams on this important oilseed crop.  In this article, we present the current knowledge on the sesamin and sesamolin contents in S. indicum L. with respect to the updated biosynthesis pathway, associated markers, governing loci, available variability in sesame germplasm, the in planta potential roles of these compounds in sesame, and the newly discovered pharmacological attributes.  In addition, we propose and discuss some required studies that might facilitate genomics-assisted breeding of high lignan content sesame varieties.

Keywords:  Sesamum indicum        lignan biosynthesis        antioxidants        molecular breeding        sesamin and sesamolin  
Received: 19 July 2021   Accepted: 13 September 2021
Fund: This study was supported by the Open Project of Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Oil Crops, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China (KF2020004 and KF2022002), the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS-ASTIP-2016-OCRI),  the Key Research Projects of Hubei Province, China (2020BBA045 and 2020BHB028), the Science and Technology Innovation Project of Hubei Province, China (2021-620-000-001-035), the China Agriculture Research System of MOF and MARA (CARS-14), and the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Non-profit Scientific Institution, China (Y2022XK11).
About author:  Correspondence WANG Lin-hai, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Senouwa Segla Koffi DOSSOU, XU Fang-tao, Komivi DOSSA, ZHOU Rong, ZHAO Ying-zhong, WANG Lin-hai. 2023. Antioxidant lignans sesamin and sesamolin in sesame (Sesamum indicum L.): a comprehensive review and future prospects. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 22(1): 14-30.

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