The Spatial Distribution of Alkaloids in Psychotria prunifolia (Kunth) Steyerm and Palicourea coriacea (Cham.) K. Schum Leaves Analysed by Desorption Electrospray Ionisation Mass Spectrometry Imaging

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  • Lucilia Kato
  • Aline Pereira Moraes
  • Cecília Maria Alves de Oliveira
  • Boniek Gontijo Vaz
  • Letícia de Almeida Gonçalves
  • Elienai Cândida E Silva
  • Janfelt, Christian

INTRODUCTION: Species of the genera Psychotria and Palicourea are sources of indole alkaloids, however, the distribution of alkaloids within the plants is not known. Analysing the spatial distribution using desorption electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry imaging (DESI-MSI) has become attractive due to its simplicity and high selectivity compared to traditional histochemical techniques.

OBJECTIVES: To apply DESI-MSI to visualise the alkaloid distribution on the leaf surface of Psychotria prunifolia and Palicourea coriacea and to compare the distributions with HPLC-MS and histochemical analyses.

METHODOLOGY: Based upon previous structure elucidation studies, four alkaloids targeted in this study were identified using high resolution mass spectrometry by direct infusion of plant extracts, and their distributions were imaged by DESI-MSI via tissue imprints on a porous Teflon surface. Relative quantitation of the four alkaloids was obtained by HPLC-MS/MS analysis performed using multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) mode on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer.

RESULTS: Alkaloids showed distinct distributions on the leaf surfaces. Prunifoleine was mainly present in the midrib, while 10-hydroxyisodeppeaninol was concentrated close to the petiole; a uniform distribution of 10-hydroxyantirhine was observed in the whole leaf of Psychotria prunifolia. The imprinted image from the Palicourea coriacea leaf also showed a homogeneous distribution of calycanthine throughout the leaf surface.

CONCLUSION: Different distributions were found for three alkaloids in Psychotria prunifolia, and the distributions found by MSI were in complete accordance with HPLC-MS analysis and histochemical results. The DESI-MSI technique was therefore demonstrated to provide reliable information about the spatial distribution of metabolites in plants. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhytochemical Analysis
Pages (from-to)69-76
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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