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Short Paper | Regular issue | Vol 106, No. 5, 2023, pp.879-887
Published online, 23rd March, 2023
DOI: 10.3987/COM-23-14823
Biotransformation of Plant Secondary Metabolites by Silkworms

Ryuhei Takeshita, Hiroaki Sasaki, Yasuhiko Matsumoto, Takashi Sugita, and Kaoru Kinoshita*

*Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, 2-522-1 Noshio, Kiyose, Tokyo 204-8588, Japan


Compounds resulting from the biotransformation of plant secondary metabolites by silkworms (Bombyx mori) were found in their feces. SilkMate 2S, an artificial diet, mixed with twelve powdered plant-derived crude drugs was fed to fifth instar silkworms. A glucoside was isolated from the MeOH extract of the feces ejected by the silkworms provided with Scutellariae Radix (Ogon). SilkMate 2S mixed with twelve flavonoids was fed to fifth instar silkworms. Two new compounds, 3-O-β-D-glucopyranosyloxy-6-methoxyflavone (18) and 3-O-β-D-glucopyranosyloxy-4’-hydroxyflavone (19), were obtained from the MeOH extracts of the feces ejected by the silkworms provided with 3-hydroxy-6-methoxyflavone (10) and 3,4’-dihydroxyflavone (11), respectively.