Molecules 2012, 17(11), 13345-13356; doi:10.3390/molecules171113345
Article

Variation of Medicinal Components in a Unique Geographical Accession of Horny Goat Weed Epimedium sagittatum Maxim. (Berberidaceae)

1,2, 1, 1, 1,* email and 1,3,* email
Received: 11 September 2012; in revised form: 2 November 2012 / Accepted: 5 November 2012 / Published: 8 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Metabolites)
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Abstract: Herbal Epimedium species have been widely in Traditional Chinese Medicine for sexual enhancement, immunity improvement, anticancer and anti-aging treatment, with flavonoids and polysaccharides being the major active components. However, exhaustive depletion of wild sources warrants germplasm evaluation and quality resource exploration. A preliminarily analysis had previously indicated that a specific local geographic accession of Epimedium sagittatum found in Luotian (LT) county of Hubei Province (China) had a much higher content of total flavonoids and polysaccharides. In this study, we further investigated the medicinal component variation in the LT type under different light intensities and in different regions by the common-garden experiment. The results indicated a light intensity range of 40–160 μmol/m2/s was the most suitable for the synthesis and accumulation of total flavonoids, while polysaccharide accumulation was negatively correlated with the light intensity. Icariin was the component displaying the highest content among flavonoids, and the content of major flavonoid bioactive components was relatively stable in the third year after cultivation. There was significant correlation between the major flavonol glycoside constituents and the geographic location, and Central China followed by Northern China were the highly suitable regions for cultivation of LT type E. sagittatum. The results revealed that there was a functional balance between flavonoids and polysaccharides at different developmental stages, and the best harvesting stage should consider the primary contents of interest. This study provides important information on the exploration of quality resources, further breeding approaches and cultivation practices of E. sagittatum, and thus the important insights to enhance our understanding of quality control of traditional medicinal plants.
Keywords: herbal plant; flavonoids; polysaccharides; Chinese medicine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liang, Q.; Wei, G.; Chen, J.; Wang, Y.; Huang, H. Variation of Medicinal Components in a Unique Geographical Accession of Horny Goat Weed Epimedium sagittatum Maxim. (Berberidaceae). Molecules 2012, 17, 13345-13356.

AMA Style

Liang Q, Wei G, Chen J, Wang Y, Huang H. Variation of Medicinal Components in a Unique Geographical Accession of Horny Goat Weed Epimedium sagittatum Maxim. (Berberidaceae). Molecules. 2012; 17(11):13345-13356.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liang, Qiong; Wei, Guoyan; Chen, Jianjun; Wang, Ying; Huang, Hongwen. 2012. "Variation of Medicinal Components in a Unique Geographical Accession of Horny Goat Weed Epimedium sagittatum Maxim. (Berberidaceae)." Molecules 17, no. 11: 13345-13356.


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