Phytochemical characterization and antioxidant potential of rustyback fern (Asplenium ceterach L.)

Suzana Živković, Marijana Skorić, Branislav Šiler, Slavica Dmitrović, Biljana Filipović, Tijana Nikolić, Danijela Mišić



Asplenium ceterach (syn. Ceterach officinarum Willd.) or rustyback fern, is a plant species traditionally used in Mediterranean countries as expectorant, diuretic, against spleen complaints, kidney stones and hemorrhoids. Phytochemical analysis of gametophytes and sporophytes of A. ceterach was performed, followed by comparative analysis of phenolic composition and the antioxidant properties of the extracts (scavenging capacities against ABTS·+ and DPPH·).

Totally 16 phenolic compounds belonging to the classes of phenolic acids (hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycynnamic acids), flavonoids (flavan-3-ols, flavonols), and xanthones were identified using UHPLC/DAD/–HESI-MS/MS analysis. Differential phenolics’ composition of the two phases of the life cycle of this fern was observed which significantly determined their radical scavenging activities. In sporophytes of A. ceterach considerably high amounts of chlorogenic acid were found, while xanthones were mostly abundant in gametophytes, recommending this fern species as a valuable source of bioactive compounds.


Asplenium ceterach, fern, sporophyte, gametophyte, antioxidant activity, phenolics

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Copyright (c) 2017 Suzana Živković, Marijana Skorić, Branislav Šiler, Slavica Dmitrović, Biljana Filipović, Tijana Nikolić, Danijela Mišić

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