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Phytochemistry. 2002 Oct;61(3):339-43.

A flavonoid from Brassica rapa flower as the UV-absorbing nectar guide.

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  • 1Research Institute of Seed Production Co, Ltd, 6-6-3 Minamiyoshinari, Aoba-ku, Sendai 989-3204, Japan.


The corolla of Brassica rapa has an UV-absorbing zone in its center, known as the nectar guide for attracting pollinating insects. The pigment which plays the role of the nectar guide was isolated from the petals and identified to be isorhamnetin 3,7-O-di-beta-D-glucopyranoside on the basis of MS and NMR spectroscopic data. The D-, L-configurations of the sugar moieties were determined by the fluorometric HPLC method. In plants raised in open field, there was a 13-fold higher content of the compound in the basal parts of the petals compared with the apical parts. This difference in flavonoid content is presumed to contribute to the visual attractiveness of B. rapa flowers to insect pollinators.

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