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Coastal species are exposed to severe environmental stresses, e.g. salt and UV-B. The plants adapt themselves to such harsh environment by controlling morphological features and chemical defense systems. Flavonoids are known as efficient anti-stress polyphenols produced by plants. Most flavonoids show antioxidant activity, and their properties are important for plants to survive under high-stress conditions such as those in a coastal area. Among the compounds, ortho-dihydroxylated flavonoids act as strong antioxidants. In this survey, we elucidated the flavonoid composition of a seashore species Calystegia soldanella, which is distributed not only on the seashore, but also by the inland freshwater lake, Lake Biwa. Seven flavonol glycosides, i.e. quercetin 3-0- rutinoside, 3-O-glucoside, 3-O-rhamnoside and 3-O-apiosyl-(1-->2)-[rhamnosyl-(1-->6)-glucoside], and kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside, 3-O-glucoside and 3-0- rhamnoside were isolated from the leaves of C. soldanella. In addition, it was shown that the quercetin (Qu) to kaempferol (Km) ratio of coastal populations was higher than that of lakeshore populations. In general, these differences of Qu/Km ratio depend on flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase (F3'H) transcription. RT-PCR analysis suggested that F3'H of C. soldanella is regulated translationally or post-translationally, but not transcriptionally. Furthermore, quantitative and qualitative differences in flavonoid composition occurred among three Calystegia species, C. soldanella, C. japonica and C. hederacea.


Yoshinori Murai, Hiroaki Setoguchi, Eiichiro Ono, Tsukasa Iwashina. Flavonoids and their qualitative variation in Calystegia soldanella and related species (Convolvulaceae). Natural product communications. 2015 Mar;10(3):429-32

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PMID: 25924521

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