Diversity in blueberry genotypes and developmental stages enables discrepancy in the bioactive compounds, metabolites, and cytotoxicity


Eight blueberry cultivars at three developmental stages were investigated for metabolite profiling, antioxidant, and anticancer activities. Cultivars- and developmental stages-variations were determined in total phenolic, flavonoid, DPPH, and FRAP antioxidant assays. The anticancer capacity was equal against A549, HepG2, and Caco-2 cancer cells, whereas the inhibition rate was dose-, incubation period-, cultivar-, and developmental stages-dependent. The untargeted metabolite profiling by UPLC-TOF-MS analysis of two contrast cultivars, 'Vernon' and 'Star', throughout the developmental stages revealed 328 metabolites; the majority of them were amino acids, organic acids, and flavonoids. The multivariate statistical analysis identified five metabolites, including quinic acid, methyl succinic acid, chlorogenic acid, oxoadipic acid, and malic acid, with positively higher correlations with all anticancer activities. This comprehensive database of blueberry metabolites along with anticancer activities could be targeted as natural anticancer potentials. This study would be of great value for food, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical industries as well as plant biotechnologists.



Blueberry cultivars, Berry developmental stage, Antioxidant, Anticancer, Untargeted metabolomics, Biomarker metabolites