Interspecific variation in localization of hypericins and phloroglucinols in the genus Hypericum as revealed by desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging

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Plants of the genus Hypericum are widely known for their therapeutic properties. The most biologically active compounds of this genus are naphtodianthrones and phloroglucinols. Indirect desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) imaging allows visualization and localization of secondary metabolites in different plant tissues. This study is focused on localization of major secondary compounds in the leaves of 17 different in vitro cultured Hypericum species classified in 11 sections. Generally, all identified naphtodianthrones, protohypericin, hypericin, protopseudohypericin and pseudohypericin were co-localized in the dark glands of eight hypericin producing species at the site of their accumulation. The known phloroglucinols, hyperforin, adhyperforin, hyperfirin and some new phloroglucinols with m/z [M - H](-) 495 and 569 were localized in the translucent and pale cavities within the leaf in the majority of studied species. The comparison of different Hypericum species revealed an interspecific variation in the distribution of the dark and translucent glands corresponding with the localization of hypericins and phloroglucinols. Moreover, similarities in the localization and composition of the phloroglucinols were observed in the species belonging to the same section. Adding to various quantitative studies focused on the detection of secondary metabolites, this work using indirect DESI-MSI offers additional valuable information about localization of the above-mentioned compounds.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Volume157
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)2-12
Number of pages11
ISSN0031-9317
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 160863579