Alexandra C H F Sawaya
Posters-Accepted Abstracts: Metabolomics
Rough estimates state that 65 to 8% of the world population use medicinal plants for cultural or economic reasons. However in certain cases the wrong species may be used or the environmental conditions under which a plant is cultivated my result in varying concentrations of bioactive chemical components, affecting the expected results. Two species of creepers, popularly known as Guaco (Mikania glomerata and Mikania laevigata) are popularly used for coughs, bronchitis and inflammations in Brazil. These two species are quite similar in appearance and are used interchangeably by the population. However studies by UHPLC-MS have shown that M. glomerata presents low concentrations of the marker compound (coumarin) and that the composition of both species varies significantly. Furthermore studies of the effect of damage, temperature, irrigation and intensity of light have been carried out on both species, using untargeted metabolomics, showing that they result in significant changes in the concentrations of specific secondary metabolites (mainly phenolic compounds). The results of these experiments indicate that the two species cannot be used interchangeably, due to differences in composition, and that environmental factors strongly affect their composition. Therefore caution must be exercised when planting and collecting medicinal plants to guarantee their safe and effective use.
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