Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 531–540 | Cite as

Tissue-specific and maturity-dependent distribution of pyridine alkaloids in Areca triandra

  • Jiao Wu
  • He Zhang
  • Shijie Wang
  • Langxing Yuan
  • Paul Grünhofer
  • Lukas Schreiber
  • Yinglang WanEmail author
Regular Paper


Areca nuts (seeds of Areca catechu L.) are a traditional and popular masticatory in India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, certain parts of China, and some other countries. Four related pyridine alkaloids (arecoline, arecaidine, guvacoline, and guvacine) are considered being the main functional ingredients in areca nut. Until now, A. catechu is the only known species producing these alkaloids in the Arecaceae family. In the present study, we investigated alkaloid contents in 12 Arecaceae species and found that only Areca triandra Roxb. contained these pyridine alkaloids. We further analyzed in more detail tissue-specific and development-related distribution of these alkaloids in leaves, male and female flowers and fruits in different stages of maturity in A. triandra by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Results revealed that the alkaloids were most abundant in young leaves, the pericarp of ripe fruits and the endosperm of unripe fruits in developmental stage 2. Abundance of the 4 different alkaloids in A. triandra fruits varied during maturation. Pericarps of ripe fruits had the highest arecaidine concentration (4.45 mg g−1) and the lowest guvacoline concentration (0.0175 mg g−1), whereas the endosperm of unripe fruits of developmental stage 2 contained the highest guvacoline concentration (3.39 mg g−1) and the lowest guvacine concentration (0.245 mg g−1). We conclude that A. triandra is useful in future as a further valuable source of Areca alkaloids.


Areca triandra Roxb. Maturity-dependence Pyridine alkaloids Tissue-specificity UPLC-MS 



This work was supported by Hainan Major Research Fund of science and technology (Grant no. ZDKJ201817) and the crop science postgraduate innovation project of Hainan university tropical agriculture and forestry college (ZWCX2018006).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Supplementary material

10265_2019_1115_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (761 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 761 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresources, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and ForestryHainan UniversityHaikouChina
  2. 2.Environment and Plant Protection InstituteChinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesHaikouChina
  3. 3.Institute of Cellular and Molecular BotanyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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