Thirty-five randomly-collected Semele androgyna Kunth samples were screened by RP-HPLC for their phenolic composition. Fraction analysis allowed the detection of 17 different compounds. According to their retention times and UV spectra obtained by diode array analysis, these phenolics represent three classes: phenolic acids, flavones and flavonols. Co-chromatography with specific standards enabled identification of quercetin, rutin and quercitrin in Semele tissues for the first time. Polymorphism based on phenolic composition was evaluated using multivariate analysis and showed four distinct S. androgyna clusters. This polymorphism was not associated with morphological diversity or different in ambient light intensities. Biochemical differentiation is thus present in this species. The application of multivariate analysis techniques to RP-HPLC data has allowed the classification of samples into two groups, previously proposed on the basis of morphological and cytotaxonomical information. Therefore, the use of phenolics as chemotaxonomic markers in Semele is highly recommended because of its diagnostic value, even at a subspecies level. Discriminant canonical analysis and Mahalanobis distances confirmed these clusters as recognisable chemosystematic units. However, these units do not support the separation of S. pterygophora.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||South African Journal of Botany|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|