J Syst Evol ›› 2010, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (2): 118-122.DOI: 10.1111/j.1759-6831.2010.00070.x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Distribution of tanshinones in the genus Salvia (family Lamiaceae) from China and its systematic significance

1,2Min-Hui LI 1Yong PENG 1Pei-Gen XIAO*   

  1. 1 (Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100094, China)
    2 (Baotou Medical College, Baotou 014060, China)
  • Received:2009-08-10 Published:2010-03-03

Abstract: Salvia L. (family Lamiaceae) a large genus of over 1,000 species is widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions of the world. Among them 84 species are native to China. There remain, however, many taxonomic uncertainties at the sub-generic level. Diterpenoids are a class of secondary metabolites with a large variety of structures and they have been used as chemotaxonomic markers at infra and super-generic levels. For the sake of further chemotaxonomic understanding of Salvia, this paper describes an investigation on the distribution of tanshinones, a group of biologically active diterpenes, which are known to be present in some Chinese members of the genus. Using HPLC with DAD detector, tanshinones in various Salvia species were determined and the distribution supported the circumscription of the sect. Drymosphare in the original sense of Bentham. The distribution of tanshinones, therefore, provides a valuable chemotaxonomic tool for determining infra-generic differences within Salvia.

Key words: Salvia, tanshinones, chemotaxonomy, HPLC.