Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 1405–1420 | Cite as

Ontogenic variation of biologically active metabolites ofPteridium aquilinum (L. Kuhn) pterosins A and B, and ptaquiloside in a bracken population of the tropical andes

  • Miguel E. Alonso-amelot
  • Margarita Pérez-mena
  • Mariá P. Calcagno
  • Ramon Jaimes-Espinoza
  • Uvidelio Castillo


A negative correlation has been found between the amounts of pterosins A and B and ptaquiloside per biomass unit, and the growth stage of the blade of bracken. Their concentration decreased progressively from the crozierto the mature frond, where it attained less than 5% of the initial value. The growth was measured following the total blade length, its height, moisture content, and time of emergence from the soil surface. Quantitation of these compounds was achieved by HPLC using a water extraction, methylene chloride treatment, and silica gel microcolumn cleanup sequence. Pterosins were unevenly distributed in the blade, whereas ptaquiloside maintained a constant concentration throughout. Rhizomes contained only minor amounts of these compounds. Their possible role as semiochemicals in bracken is discussed.

Key Words

Bracken fern Pteridium aquilinum var.Caudatum tropics ptaquiloside pterosin A pterosin B quantitation HPLC blade growth semiochemicals 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel E. Alonso-amelot
    • 1
  • Margarita Pérez-mena
    • 1
  • Mariá P. Calcagno
    • 1
  • Ramon Jaimes-Espinoza
    • 1
  • Uvidelio Castillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Química Ecológica Departamento de Química Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de Los AndesMéridaVenezuela

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