Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 140, Issue 4, pp 279–292 | Cite as

Chemotaxonomical investigations of theSymphytum officinale polyploid complex andS. asperum (Boraginaceae): The pyrrolizidine alkaloids

  • H. J. Huizing
  • Th. W. J. Gadella
  • E. Kliphuis


By means of thin layer chromatography in conjunction with mass spectrometry the pyrrolizidine alkaloid patterns derived fromSymphytum asperum, several cytotypes ofS. officinale agg. and the artificial hybrids of the former taxa, were compared. The obtained patterns were not essentially affected by variation in cytotype, harvesting times and -location of plants. Lycopsamine, acetyl-lycopsamine and symphytine or their isomers were generally found in theS. officinale cytotypes, echimidine and symphytine inS. asperum. The interspecific hybrids contained all alkaloids mentioned. The definite lack of echimidine in the 2 n=40 cytotype proves that it is conspecific withS. officinale and does not belong to a hybrid-swarmS. asperum × S. officinale with 2 n=48.

Key Words

Angiosperms Boraginaceae Symphytum.—Pyrrolizidine alkaloids chemotaxonomy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. Huizing
    • 1
  • Th. W. J. Gadella
    • 2
  • E. Kliphuis
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Pharmacognosy and Galenic PharmacyAW GroningenNetherlands
  2. 2.Department of BiosystematicsCH UtrechtNetherlands

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