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Article

Phenolic Compounds Content and Genetic Diversity at Population Level across the Natural Distribution Range of Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Ericaceae) in the Iberian Peninsula

1
Departamento of Química Analítica, Instituto de Investigación en Ingeniería, Universidad de Zaragoza, Centro Politécnico Superior, Edificio Torres Quevedo, María de Luna 3, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Institut Botànic de Barcelona (IBB, CSIC-Ajuntament de Barcelona), Passeig del Migdia s.n., 08038 Barcelona, Spain
3
Laboratori de Botànica (UB)—Unitat Associada al CSIC, Facultat de Farmàcia i Ciències de l’Alimentació—Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio), Universitat de Barcelona, Avda. Joan XXIII 27-31, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
4
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3DS, UK
5
Departamento of Ciencias Agrarias y del Medio Natural, Instituto Universitario de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Zaragoza, Escuela Politécnica Superior, Ctra. Cuarte s.n., 22071 Huesca, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors contributed equally to this manuscript.
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091250
Received: 6 September 2020 / Revised: 17 September 2020 / Accepted: 20 September 2020 / Published: 22 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is a medicinal plant traditionally employed for the treatment of urinary tract infections due to high contents of arbutin (hydroquinone β-D-glucoside), which is now mainly used as a natural skin-whitening agent in cosmetics. Bearberry has also been proposed as a natural antioxidant additive due to the high contents of phenolic compounds in leaves. We studied the variation on phenolic compounds in 42 wild populations of bearberry, aiming to elucidate if intrinsic biological, climatic, and/or geographic factors affect phenolic contents across its natural distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. Bearberry leaves were collected during autumn over a three-year period (2014–2016) in populations across a latitude and altitude gradient. Methanolic extracts showed a wide range of variation in total phenols content, and different phenolic profiles regarding arbutin (levels of this major constituent varied from 87 to 232 mg/g dr wt), but also catechin and myricetin contents, which were affected by geographic and climatic factors. Moderate levels of variation on genome size—assessed by flow cytometry—and on two plastid DNA regions were also detected among populations. Genetic and cytogenetic differentiation of populations was weakly but significantly associated to phytochemical diversity. Elite bearberry genotypes with higher antioxidant capacity were subsequently identified. View Full-Text
Keywords: arbutin; genetic and phytochemical variability; genome size; haplotypes; natural antioxidants arbutin; genetic and phytochemical variability; genome size; haplotypes; natural antioxidants
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MDPI and ACS Style

Asensio, E.; Vitales, D.; Pérez, I.; Peralba, L.; Viruel, J.; Montaner, C.; Vallès, J.; Garnatje, T.; Sales, E. Phenolic Compounds Content and Genetic Diversity at Population Level across the Natural Distribution Range of Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Ericaceae) in the Iberian Peninsula. Plants 2020, 9, 1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091250

AMA Style

Asensio E, Vitales D, Pérez I, Peralba L, Viruel J, Montaner C, Vallès J, Garnatje T, Sales E. Phenolic Compounds Content and Genetic Diversity at Population Level across the Natural Distribution Range of Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Ericaceae) in the Iberian Peninsula. Plants. 2020; 9(9):1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091250

Chicago/Turabian Style

Asensio, Esther, Daniel Vitales, Iván Pérez, Laia Peralba, Juan Viruel, Celia Montaner, Joan Vallès, Teresa Garnatje, and Ester Sales. 2020. "Phenolic Compounds Content and Genetic Diversity at Population Level across the Natural Distribution Range of Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Ericaceae) in the Iberian Peninsula" Plants 9, no. 9: 1250. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091250

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