Lignans in flowering aerial parts of Linum species—chemodiversity in the light of systematics and phylogeny

Thomas J Schmidt, Shiva Hemmati, Michael Klaes, Belma Konuklugil, Abdolali Mohagheghzadeh, Iliana Ionkova, Elisabeth Fuss, A Wilhelm Alfermann
Phytochemistry 2010, 71 (14): 1714-28
The aerial parts of 54 accessions representing 41 Linum species and four species of related genera were analysed for lignans by means of HPLC-ESI/MS-MS-UV/DAD. In total, 64 different lignans of the aryltetralin-, arylnaphthalene-, aryldihydronaphthalene-, dibenzylbutyrolactone-, and furofuran type were identified. According to their lignan profile, the Linum species can be divided in two groups accumulating as major lignan types either cyclolignans of the aryltetralin-series on one hand, or aryldihydronaphthalenes/arylnaphthalenes, on the other. Five of the investigated Linum species did not contain any detectable amounts of these lignans under the chosen analytical conditions. Furthermore, none of the lignans identified in Linum species was detectable in representatives of three related genera, namely, Reinwardtia (Linaceae, Linoideae), Hugonia and Indorouchera (Linaceae, Hugonioideae). The two species groups differing in the types of the dominating cyclolignans comprise representatives of the major taxonomic sections. Representatives of sections Syllinum, Cathartolinum and Linopsis accumulate mainly aryltetralins while those of sections Linum and Dasylinum were found to contain mainly aryldihydronaphthalenes/-naphthalenes. These phytochemical data correlate very well with a recent study on the molecular phylogeny of Linum/Linaceae, where a subdivision of Linum into two major clades comprising representatives of the two mentioned groups was found. Thus, the distribution of lignans apparently reflecting phylogenetic interrelations at the infrageneric level, a plausible scenario for the evolution of lignan biosynthesis in the genus Linum can now be presented.


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