Feng Rui-Zhi, Lian Wen-Yan, Fu Gui-Xiang, Xiao Pei-Gen
1985, 23 (1): 36–42
The tribe Chelidonieae of Papaveraceae, consists of 8 genera and 23 species in the world. Most species belonging to this taxon contain dominantly biologically active substances and are widely used as medicinal plants.
A chemotaxonomic study in this tribe reveals that Chelidonieae is linked to the other tribes in the presence of protopine-type alkaloids, and the ubiquitous occurrence of dehydrogenated benzophenanthridine-type alkaloids (ex. chelerythrine and sanguinarine) can be served as a chemical character of Chelidonieae. Furthermore, our results indicate that Chelidonieae can obviously be divided into two groups:the first group, including genera Sanguinaria, Eomecon, Macleaya and Bocconia, is characterized by the absence of TLC detected aporphine-, tetrahydroberberine- and reduced benzophenanthridi netype alkaloids, and their undulatedly or palmately incised leaves, as well as short capsules. The second group, comprising Stylophorum, Hylomecon, Dicranostigma and Chelidonium, yields predominately tetrahydroberberine- and reduced benzophenanthridinetype alkaloids, with usually deeply pinnatifid leaves, and long and slender capsules.
As regards the medical importance and the resource utilization of Chelidonieae much attention should be paid to the following alkaloids and the taxa: chelidonine (Chelidonium majus ) , isocorydine ( Dicranostigma ) , tetrahydrocoptisine ( Stylophorum ) , chelerythrine (whole tribe particularly the genus Macleaya) and sanguinarine (whole tribe, particularly Macleaya).