Characterization of bioactive alkaloid content versus soil chemistry in goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cynthia Dayton (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Arthur Salido

Abstract: Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is widely used as a dietary supplement due tothe biological activity of the isoquinoline alkaloids berberine and hydrastine. Differencesin location and growing conditions often lead to variations in alkaloid content ingoldenseal. These variations in chemical composition of plants are directly affected bysoil conditions in which they are grown. Soil metal concentration is only one factoraffecting the bioavailability of metals to plants. Bioavailability is dramatically affectedby soil pH, cation exchange capacity, and total organic carbon concentrations. Metalswithin the soil can enhance or inhibit pathways that produce alkaloids. Copper, zinc,manganese, iron, magnesium, and calcium are all essential metals to plant health. However,copper, zinc manganese, and iron can be harmful in high concentrations causingoxidative stress. Low concentrations of these and other nutrients can lead to deficienciesthat cause stress to the plant. Production of secondary metabolites like alkaloids isincreased by plants in response to stressors such as oxidative stress and nutrient deficiency.In this project, the concentrations of the alkaloids in leaf and root extracts of goldensealsamples grown in different locations were quantified. In addition, variationsin metal concentrations of plants grown in each location were determined by inductivelycoupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Soil parameters wereall studied through soil tests to get a complete picture of conditions that may be related to alkaloid variations within the sample set. Alkaloid concentrations were determinedusing high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Plant alkaloid concentrations werecompared to soil metal concentrations to determine if any correlation exists.Results showed that there were no strong correlations between metal concentrations(R2 above .8) and alkaloid content. However, weaker correlations of 0.37 and0.38 between iron and aluminum in the root show negative relationships between ironand aluminum and berberine in goldenseal roots. Overall trends appearing within thedata suggest positive relationships between berberine production and magnesium, calcium,and manganese concentrations. Trends in the data also suggest that some of thesamples with high berberine concentrations may have experienced nutrient deficiencydue to soil conditions before harvesting.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
alkaloid, berberine, goldenseal
Goldenseal -- Analysis
Goldenseal -- Effect of soil acidity on
Alkaloids -- Analysis
Plants -- Effect of metals on

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