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Type of publication: Diploma Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2010

Authors: Eckl, Dominik

Title: Pyrrolizidin-Alkaloide bei Greiskraut-Arten (Senecio, Asteraceae).

Other title: Pyrrolizidin-alkaloids in Senecio-species (Asteraceae)

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 55.


Chizzola Remigius

Chizzola Remigius
Schmerold Ivo

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Pyrrolizidin-alkaloids (PA) are located in a range of higher plants. Most frequently, they appear in the genus Senecio (groundsel). About one third of PA is toxic, whereas the hepatotoxic effect prevails. Furthermore, they also have mutagenic, carcinogenic and teratogenic activity. Human intoxications are caused by two main reasons: On one hand, plant-products with PA are used in folk medicine. On the other hand, contamination of vegetable foods containing traces of plants or seeds with PA appears recurrently. Animalintoxications caused by plants with PA occur by the feeding of contaminated hay or silage. Moreover, they often emerge by young grazing cattle. In the context of the diploma thesis, six different Senecio-species (S. jacobaea, S. vulgaris, S. vernalis, S. aquaticus, S. inaequidens and S.alpinus) have been collected from various Austrian habitats. They have been analysed for their alkaloids by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The results illustrate that toxic PA are present in all reviewed Senecio-species. All in all, eleven PA have been found. These are Senecionine, Seneciphylline, Integerrimine, Senecivernine, Jaconine, Retrorsine, Erucifoline, Usaramine, Acetyl-Erucifoline, Eruciflorine and one, which could not be identified exactly (Tab. 3 & 4, chapter 4.1.2). The first three of them have been found in all Senecio-species, whereas Senecionin usually acts as majoralkaloid. S. inaequidens stands as an exception: In this case, Retrorsin is the major-alkaloid. Every plant-species reveals PA in all plant parts (root, leaves, stem, and flower), whereas the highest concentration has been found in flowers. The total amount (mg/g dry plant) of PA varies enormously from one species to another. The range of PA goes from 47,9 mg/g (S. inaequidens) to 0,5 mg/g (S. aquaticus). Finally, the variability of the alkaloid content in S. aquaticus has been studied by analysing the alkaloids in single plants from three different populations.

Publication(s) resulting from University thesis:

Chizzola, R; Eckl, D; Bassler, G; Kriechbaum, M (2010): Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Senecio species from the urban area of Vienna (Austria). 7th Tannin Conference/58th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Medical-Plant-and-Natural-Product-Research, Berlin, GERMANY, Germany, AUG 29-SEP 02, 2010. Planta Med (76), 12 1204-1204.

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