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Molecules 2017, 22(6), 940; doi:10.3390/molecules22060940

Sesquiterpene Variation in West Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)

1
School of Biological Sciences (M084), University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
2
School of Chemistry and Biochemistry (M310), University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
3
Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, 2185 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4, Canada
4
School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robert M. Coate and Derek J. McPhee
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isoprenoid Biosynthesis)
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Abstract

West Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) has long been exploited for its fragrant, sesquiterpene-rich heartwood; however sandalwood fragrance qualities vary substantially, which is of interest to the sandalwood industry. We investigated metabolite profiles of trees from the arid northern and southeastern and semi-arid southwestern regions of West Australia for patterns in composition and co-occurrence of sesquiterpenes. Total sesquiterpene content was similar across the entire sample collection; however sesquiterpene composition was highly variable. Northern populations contained the highest levels of desirable fragrance compounds, α- and β-santalol, as did individuals from the southwest. Southeastern populations were higher in E,E-farnesol, an undesired allergenic constituent, and low in santalols. These trees generally also contained higher levels of α-bisabolol. E,E-farnesol co-occurred with dendrolasin. Contrasting α-santalol and E,E-farnesol chemotypes revealed potential for future genetic tree improvement. Although chemical variation was evident both within and among regions, variation was generally lower within regions. Our results showed distinct patterns in chemical diversity of S. spicatum across its natural distribution, consistent with earlier investigations into sandalwood population genetics. These results are relevant for plantation tree improvement and conservation efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: sandalwood; Santalum spicatum; Santalum album; sesquiterpene fragrance; α-santalol; β-santalol; E,E-farnesol; naturally occurring chemical variation; chemical diversity sandalwood; Santalum spicatum; Santalum album; sesquiterpene fragrance; α-santalol; β-santalol; E,E-farnesol; naturally occurring chemical variation; chemical diversity
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Moniodis, J.; Jones, C.G.; Renton, M.; Plummer, J.A.; Barbour, E.L.; Ghisalberti, E.L.; Bohlmann, J. Sesquiterpene Variation in West Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum). Molecules 2017, 22, 940.

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