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Molecules 2014, 19(9), 14484-14495; doi:10.3390/molecules190914484

MALDI-TOF MS Analysis of Proanthocyanidins in Two Lowland Tropical Forest Species of Cecropia: A First Look at Their Chemical Structures

Department of Biological Sciences, Moravian College, 1200 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018-6650, USA
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Received: 23 June 2014 / Revised: 5 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
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Abstract

The structural chemistry of proanthocyanidin molecules has been investigated in temperate zone plants, but few studies have been done with plants of the Amazonian lowland tropical wet forests where herbivore pressure is more extensive and diverse. Using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, we report unique properties of the proanthocyanidin structural chemistry in two neotropical Cecropia species, C. polystachya, a myrmecophyte with mutualistic ants, and C. sciadophylla, a non-myrmecophyte lacking mutualistic ants. Our preliminary data suggests the presence of reportedly uncommon propelargonidin subunits in a majority of proanthocyanidin oligomers. The presence of 3-O-gallate proanthocyanidin monomers was also detected in the mass spectra of both species. Unlike other studies that have examined species growing at higher latitudes, oligomers composed of procyanidin, propelargonidin, and their 3-O-gallates were present in both Cecropia species while the presence of oligomers containing prodelphinidin units were absent or at lower levels. These distinctive features may suggest that proanthocyanidins in some tropical plant species may be an untapped source of proanthocyanidin structural complexity that warrants further investigation. Several differences between spectra of the two Cecropia species could also point to the presence of anti-herbivore defense tradeoffs between chemical defense quality and biotic defense between the two species. View Full-Text
Keywords: proanthocyanidins; condensed tannins; Cecropia sciadophylla; Cecropia polystachya; MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry; anti-herbivore defense tradeoffs proanthocyanidins; condensed tannins; Cecropia sciadophylla; Cecropia polystachya; MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry; anti-herbivore defense tradeoffs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Van Huynh, A.; Bevington, J.M. MALDI-TOF MS Analysis of Proanthocyanidins in Two Lowland Tropical Forest Species of Cecropia: A First Look at Their Chemical Structures. Molecules 2014, 19, 14484-14495.

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