Abstract Detail



Poster Session

Mooney, Emily H. [1], Owens, Janel [2], Smith, Brittany [3].

Variation in Secondary Metabolites of the Medicinal Plant Ligusticum porteri Associated with Light Environment .

Ecological theory predicts that plants in the shade will be better defended against herbivores than plants in higher light environments.  Since defense compounds are frequently responsible for medicinal activity, this suggests that plants in the shade will be a richer source of the bioactive compounds used in herbal medicine. Previous work has shown that extracts of Ligusticum porteri (osha) from the shaded aspen understory have greater antibacterial activity than extracts from plants in open meadows.  Suggesting a connection to defense chemistry, this plant is host to aphid colonies in open meadows but to a much lesser extent in the shade.  We examined variation in the bioactive compounds of 20 methanolic extract of L. porteri roots harvested from different light environments.  We used high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to quantify variation in three secondary metabolites: Z-ligustilide, trans ferulic acid and butylidenephthalide.  Gas chromatograph-mass-spectrometer (GC-MS) analysis.  Peaks produced by GC-MS were identified and compared using Automated Mass Spectral Deconvolution and Identification System (AMDIS V2.1) software.  Initial HPLC and GC-MS revealed plant-to-plant variation in phenolics, terpenoids and phthalides in the methanolic extract of L. porteri.   Data analysis is on-going, but we have identified several compounds potentially unique to plants from low-light environments.  Variation in these compounds may underlie differences in both herbivory and medicinal activity with light environment in this species. 


1 - University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Biology, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO, 80918, USA
2 - University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Chemistry and Biochemistry, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO, 80918, USA
3 - University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Biology, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO, 80918, usa

Keywords:
GC-MS
HPLC
Ligusticum
medicinal plants
Light Environment
Chemical Ecology.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number:
Abstract ID:51
Candidate for Awards:None