Ecologically neglected tannins and their biologically relevant activity: chemical structures of plant ellagitannins reveal their in vitro oxidative activity at high pH
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Chemical structures of 27 ellagitannins were systemically compared in respect of their in vitro oxidative activity at high pH found e.g. in lepidopteran insects. The analysis revealed over six-fold differences in the oxidative activities of individual ellagitannins which could be explained by the chemical divergences of the ellagitannins. These findings allowed the formulation of a simple equation that can be used to estimate the oxidative activities of other ellagitannins with known structures. The results suggest that, in future studies of plant-herbivore interactions, ellagitannins should be (1) taken into account as possible oxidative stress -based defences of plants against herbivores, (2) chemically characterized from the study plants, and (3) quantified individually, not as chemically ill-defined group. These actions together with the utilization of the created equation would allow the clarification of the role of ellagitannins in plant-herbivore interactions as natural pro-oxidants.
Keywords:Ellagitannins oxidative activity chemical structures herbivores plants
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