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Chemical characterisation of wild populations of Thymus from different climatic regions in southeast Spain

Horwath, A. B., Grayer, R. J., Keith-Lucas, D. M. and Simmonds, M. S. J. (2008) Chemical characterisation of wild populations of Thymus from different climatic regions in southeast Spain. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 36 (2). pp. 117-133. ISSN 0305-1978

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.bse.2007.08.009


Thymus is taxonomically a very complex genus with a high frequency of hybridisation and introgression among sympatric species. The variation in accumulation of leaf-surface flavonoids was investigated in 71 wild populations of Thymus front different putative hybrid swarm areas in Andalucia, Spain. Twenty-two flavones, five flavanones, two dihydroflavonols, a flavonol and two unknowns were detected by HPLC-DAD combined with LC-APCI-MS analysis. The majority of compounds were flavones with a lutelin-type substitution of the B-ring, in contrast to previous reports on Macedonian taxa, which predominantly accumulate flavones with apigenin-type substitution of the B-ring. Anatomical and morphometric studies, supported by cluster analysis, identified pure Thymus hyemalis and Thymus baeticus populations, and a large number of putative hybrids. Flavonoid variation was closely related to morphological variation in all populations and is suspected to be a result of genetic polymorphism. Principal component analysis identified the presence of species-specific and geographically linked chemotypes and putative hybrids with mixed morphological and chemical characteristics. Qualitative and quantitative flavonoid accumulation appears to be genetically regulated, while external factors play a secondary role. Flavonoid profiles can thus provide diagnostic markers for the taxonomy of Thymus and are also useful in detecting hybridising taxa. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:9812
Uncontrolled Keywords:Thymus, Thymus hyemalis, Thymus baeticus, lamiaceae, flavonoids, chemotypes, hybridisation, ESSENTIAL OIL VARIABILITY, FLAVONE AGLYCONES, GROWING WILD, LAMIACEAE, OCIMUM

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