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Chemodiversity of exudate flavonoids in Dionysia (Primulaceae): A comparative study

Valant-Vetschera, Karin M., Bhutia, Tshering D., Wollenweber, Eckhard
Phytochemistry 2010 v.71 no.8-9 pp. 937-947
plant exudates, Primula, Dionysia, flavonoids, chemotaxonomy
More than 60 accessions of various Dionysia spp. were analysed for their exudate flavonoid composition. Many Dionysia spp. accumulate the typical Primula flavonoids with irregular substitution (unsubstituted flavone, its 2′,5′-substituted derivatives and corresponding 5-OH-flavones), but flavones, flavonols and flavanones with regular 5,7-diOH-substitution are also encountered in their exudates. The formation of both types of flavonoids is not mutually exclusive. This paper analyses the chemodiversity of Dionysia exudates with respect to infraspecific variability, infrageneric distribution, patterns in hybrid taxa, and comparisons of biogenetic tendencies between Dionysia and closest related species of Primula. The uniqueness of occurrence of Primula-type flavonoids in the family Primulaceae, and their presumed different biosynthetic origin, suggest significance as further character in the Primula–Dionysia assemblage. Principal component analysis was applied to test the significance of variation of flavonoid composition across Dionysia. Comparative analysis of flavonoid profiles against the current taxonomic views yielded correlations, confined to the level of smaller groups, and only in parts at level of the current infrageneric concept. Flavonoid data are further discussed against the background of morphological and biogeographic differentiation of the genus. Increased diversification of flavonoid profiles may be interpreted as a derived status in Dionysia, which agrees with current views on the phylogeny of Dionysia as a specialised group within Primula. Functional aspects of exudate flavonoid formation are shortly addressed.