Background: different Solanaceae and Erythroxylaceae species produce tropane alkaloids. These alkaloids are the starting material in the production of different pharmaceuticals. The commercial demand for tropane alkaloids is covered by extracting them from cultivated plants. Datura stramonium
is cultivated under greenhouse conditions as a source of tropane alkaloids. Here we investigate the effect of different levels of water availability in the soil on the production of tropane alkaloids by D
. Methods: We tested four irrigation levels on the accumulation of tropane alkaloids. We analyzed the profile of tropane alkaloids using an untargeted liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method. Results: Using a combination of informatics and manual interpretation of mass spectra, we generated several structure hypotheses for signals in D
extracts that we assign as putative tropane alkaloids. Quantitation of mass spectrometry signals for our structure hypotheses across different anatomical organs allowed us to identify patterns of tropane alkaloids associated with different levels of irrigation. Furthermore, we identified anatomic partitioning of tropane alkaloid isomers with pharmaceutical applications. Conclusions: Our results show that soil water availability is an effective method for maximizing the production of specific tropane alkaloids for industrial applications.
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