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A Chemosystematic Study of Selected Taxa of Capsicum

Robert E. Ballard, Jerry W. McClure, W. Hardy Eshbaugh and Kenneth G. Wilson
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 57, No. 2 (Feb., 1970), pp. 225-233
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2440517
Page Count: 9
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A Chemosystematic Study of Selected Taxa of Capsicum
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Abstract

Six taxa of Capsicum were chosen for a comparative chemosystematic study. A "key" individual from each taxon was selected for intensive chemical investigation. Thirteen flavonoids were isolated from leaf material and characterized by paper chromatography and absorption spectroscopy. The C-glycosylflavones vitexin and isovitexin, and orientin and iso-orientin, as well as O-glycosides of the flavones apigenin, luteolin, and chrysoeriol, were isolated from the key individuals. Chromatographic analysis of collections from various regions of South America, Central America, and Mexico showed in general that flavonoid variability is more common in cultivated taxa than in wild. Three groups of Capsicum were recognized and the main systematic conclusions were: (1) The white-flowered taxa in Group I, C. baccatum var. baccatum and C. baccatum var. pendulum, have identical flavonoids, corroborating previous conclusions that they are one species. The absence of chrysoeriol in this group separates it from Groups II and III. (2) The purple-to-white-flowered C. eximium var. eximium and C. eximium var. tomentosum, Group II, have a complex flavonoid chemistry which appears to link Groups I and III. (3) Two purple-flowered species, C. cardenasii and C. puoescens, Group III, are chemically distinct from the other taxa examined.

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