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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 333: WOCMAP I - Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Conference: part 1 of 4

THE MAIN PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOIDS OF PETASITES HYBRIDUS: VARIATION WITHIN AND BETWEEN POPULATIONS

Author:   R. Chizzola
Keywords:   Butter bur, senecionine, integerrimine, quality, intraspecific variability, selection
Abstract:
Petasites hybridus (Asteraceae), butter bur, contains trace amounts of highly toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) which are suspected to impair its use as spasmolytic agent on the smooth musculature. To find plants low in PA or void of them for further propagation we studied the repartition of the PAs in the rhizomes of five to twentyfive individuals of thirty one populations from the Northern Alps. The main PAs senecionine and integerrimine ranged from less than 2 ppm to 150 ppm each. Most of the populations had more senecionine than integerrimine, some were high in senecionine with very little integerrimine and few showed more integerrimine than senecionine. A population very low in PAs, most of the individuals had less than 2 ppm, could be found in Strubklamm, Salzburg. Plants resulting poor in alkaloids have to be kept in an experimental field and tested at several time intervals to check if this character is stable and reproducible.
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