Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of amaryllidaceae

Ronsted, Nina, Symonds, Matthew R. E., Birkholm, Trine, Christensen, Soren Brogger, Meerow, Alan W., Molander, Marianne, Molgaard, Per, Petersen, Gitte, Rasmussen, Nina, van Staden, Johannes, Stafford, Gary I. and Jager, Anna K. 2012, Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of amaryllidaceae, BMC evolutionary biology, vol. 12, no. 182, pp. 1-12.

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Title Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of amaryllidaceae
Author(s) Ronsted, Nina
Symonds, Matthew R. E.
Birkholm, Trine
Christensen, Soren Brogger
Meerow, Alan W.
Molander, Marianne
Molgaard, Per
Petersen, Gitte
Rasmussen, Nina
van Staden, Johannes
Stafford, Gary I.
Jager, Anna K.
Journal name BMC evolutionary biology
Volume number 12
Issue number 182
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2012-09-14
ISSN 1471-2148
Keyword(s) amaryllidaceae
phylogeny
chemical diversity
prediction
lead discovery
Summary Background During evolution, plants and other organisms have developed a diversity of chemical defences, leading to the evolution of various groups of specialized metabolites selected for their endogenous biological function. A correlation between phylogeny and biosynthetic pathways could offer a predictive approach enabling more efficient selection of plants for the development of traditional medicine and lead discovery. However, this relationship has rarely been rigorously tested and the potential predictive power is consequently unknown.

Results We produced a phylogenetic hypothesis for the medicinally important plant subfamily Amaryllidoideae (Amaryllidaceae) based on parsimony and Bayesian analysis of nuclear, plastid, and mitochondrial DNA sequences of over 100 species. We tested if alkaloid diversity and activity in bioassays related to the central nervous system are significantly correlated with phylogeny and found evidence for a significant phylogenetic signal in these traits, although the effect is not strong.

Conclusions Several genera are non-monophyletic emphasizing the importance of using phylogeny for interpretation of character distribution. Alkaloid diversity and in vitro inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and binding to the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) are significantly correlated with phylogeny. This has implications for the use of phylogenies to interpret chemical evolution and biosynthetic pathways, to select candidate taxa for lead discovery, and to make recommendations for policies regarding traditional use and conservation priorities.
Language eng
Field of Research 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis
060310 Plant Systematics and Taxonomy
111599 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Rønsted et al
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30049601

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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