Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Biochem Syst Ecol. 2000 Nov 1;28(9):825-838.

The distribution of the phenolic metabolites barbaloin, aloeresin and aloenin as a peripheral defense strategy in the succulent leaf parts of Aloe arborescens.

Author information

  • 1Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research and Dept. of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boker Campus 84990, Israel


Aloe arborescens is a large, multi-stemmed shrub. It is used as hedge plants to protect agricultural fields or stock and as horticultural plants in gardens. In natural habitats it is one of the very common Aloe species along the Indian Ocean coast of southern Africa, from the Cape, in the south, to Zimbabwe and Malawi in the north. Secondary phenolic metabolites such as barbaloin (Rf 0.31-0.35), aloeresin (Rf 0.25-0.3) and aloenin (Rf 0.51-0.55) have been found to be distributed in the succulent leaves of Aloe arborescens in a peripheral defense strategy. The youngest leaves have the highest content. The terminal third of each leaf has the highest content and the basal third, the lowest. Along the leaf margins, on the top third and adaxial side, the content is the highest and in the base third, the lowest along the leaf center on the abaxial side. Similar relative amounts of these three secondary phenolic metabolites were found in the different leaf locations. The leaf orientation may affect the total content of these three phenols but not their relative amounts in the different parts of the leaves. It is possible that the more often the plant parts are damaged by consumption by animals such as elephants, kudu or insects, the greater the increase of their phenolic metabolites. This increase may reduce or prevent further consumption when the content of the metabolites reaches a certain level. The plants then have a chance to renew themselves.

[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk