Lonicera japonica Thunb., commonly referred to as honeysuckle or Jin Yin Hua in Chinese, produces abundant fragrant flowers. Dried flowers and buds of honeysuckles are known as Flos Lonicerae, which has been a famous herb of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 1500 years (Li et al., 2015). Flos Lonicerae have been used to treat arthritis, diabetes mellitus, fever, and viral infections (Li et al., 2015; Shang et al., 2011). A total of 140 chemical compounds have been isolated from Flos Lonicerae ranging from essential oils, organic acids, flavones, saponins, and iridoids (Lee et al., 1998; Li et al., 2015; Palacios et al., 2002; Shang et al., 2011). Because different species and cultivars or even the same cultivar produced in different geographical locations vary in concentrations of these chemical compounds, the Chinese Pharmacopoeia (Committee for the Pharmacopoeia of People’s Republic of China, 2015) recommended using the content of 5-O-caffeoyl-quinic acid or chlorogenic acid (CGA) and luteolin (3′,4′,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone) as two indicators for evaluating the quality of Flos Lonicerae (Shang et al., 2011).
CGA has multiple pharmacological actions including antioxidation, antibacteria, antivirus, anti-inflammatory, and antiliver fibrosis. It can suppress N-nitrosating reactions and inhibit hepatic glucose 6-phosphatase, which is a significant factor in the abnormal diabetic state (Yang et al., 2004). CGA can strongly suppress adeno-associated 3 and 7 viruses, coxsackie B3 and B5 virus, and respiratory syncytial virus (Hu et al., 2001). In accordance with the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, Flos Lonicerae used in traditional Chinese medicine must have a CGA content greater than 1.5%. Luteolin shows antivirus actions and has been used as an influenza virus neuraminidase inhibitor (Liu et al., 2008). It also inhibits growth and migration of human lung cancer cells (Zhao et al., 2011). Flos Lonicerae used in traditional Chinese medicine must have luteolin content higher than 0.05% (Committee for the Pharmacopoeia of People’s Republic of China, 2015).
Five species have been listed by the Pharmacopoeia of China for producing Flos Lonicerae: L. confuse DC., L. fulvotomentosa Hsu et S.C. Cheng, L. japonica, L. hypoglauca Miq., and L. macranthoides Hands-Mazz. A major breeding effort in China is to increase both CGA and luteolin contents in lonicera flowers. The current focus has been primarily on L. japonica and L. macranthoides. Wang et al. (2004, 2009a) isolated three naturally occurring mutants: ‘Jincuilei’, ‘Yincuilei’, and ‘Baiyun’ from L. macranthoides in Hunan province, China, and later ‘Longhua’ (Chen et al., 2013) and ‘Huayao-Wanshou’ (Wang et al., 2013) were selected from L. macranthoides. This article reports a new cultivar Fenglei, a selection from L. japonica.
Brickell, C.D., Alexander, C., David, J.C., Hetterscheid, W.L.A., Leslie, A.C., Malecot, V. & Jin, X. 2009 International code of nomenclature for cultivated plants. 8th ed. International Society for Horticultural Sciences, Scripta Horticulturae 10
Committee for the Pharmacopoeia of People’s Republic of China 2015 Pharmacopoeia of People’s Republic of China, Part I. China Medical Science and Technology Press, PR China (in Chinese)
Hu, K.J., Sun, K.X. & Wang, J.L. 2001 Inhibited effect of chlorogenic acid on virus in vitro J. Harbin Med. Univ. 35 430 432 (in Chinese)
Li, Y., Cai, W., Weng, X., Li, Q., Wang, Y., Chen, Y., Zhang, W., Yang, Q., Guo, Y., Zhu, X. & Wang, H. 2015 Lonicerae japonica flos and lonicera flos: A systematic pharmacology review Evid. Based Complement. Alternat. Med. 2015 905063 doi: 10.1155/2015/905063
Liu, A., Wang, H., Lee, S.M., Wang, Y. & Du, G. 2008 Structure-activity relationship of flavonoids as influenza virus neuraminidase inhibitors and their in vitro anti-viral activities Bioorg. Med. Chem. 16 7141 7147
Palacios, N., Christon, P. & Leech, M.J. 2002 Regeneration of Lonicera tatarica plants via adventitious organogenesis from cultured stem explants Plant Cell Rep. 20 808 813
Shang, X., Pan, H., Li, M., Miao, X. & Ding, H. 2011 Lonicera japonica Thunb.: Ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and pharmacology of an important traditional Chinese medicine J. Ethnopharmacol. 138 1 21
Wang, J., Huo, A., Zhang, X., Gong, Y., Han, S. & Liang, Z. 2009b Influences of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer on the yield and quality of Chinese honeysuckle Chinese J. Soil Sci. 40 847 851 (in Chinese)
Wang, X., Chen, J., Li, Y., Nie, Q. & Li, J. 2009a An efficient procedure for regeneration from leaf derived calluses of Lonicera Macranthoides ‘Jincuilei’, an important medicinal plant HortScience 44 746 750
Wang, X., Luo, J. & Song, Q. 2004 Breeding new cultivars of Lonicera macranthoides Hand-Mazz Hunan Forest Sci. Technol. 31 15 17 (in Chinese)
Yang, H., Yuan, B., Li, L., Chen, H. & Li, F. 2004 HPLC determination of pharmacokinetics of chlorogenic acid in rabbit plasma after an oral dose of flos lonicerae extract J. Chromatogr. Sci. 42 173 176
Zhao, Y., Yang, G., Ren, D., Zhang, X., Yin, Q. & Sunday, X. 2011 Luteolin suppresses growth and migration of human lung cancer cells Mol. Biol. Rep. 38 1115 1119