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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Feb 9;53(3):594-600.

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids of Echium vulgare honey found in pure pollen.

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  • 1Plant Toxins Research Group, CSIRO Livestock Industries, Private Bag 24, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia.

Abstract

The pyrrolizidine alkaloids previously identified in floral honey attributed to Echium vulgare (Boraginaceae) have been detected (8000-14 000 ppm) in pure pollen collected from the anthers of Echium vulgare. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids and/or their N-oxides were isolated from the aqueous acid extracts of pollen by use of strong cation-exchange, solid-phase extraction and identified by liquid chromatographic/mass spectrometric (LCMS) analysis. The pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the pollen are present mainly as the N-oxides. In addition to seven previously described pyrrolizidine alkaloids and/or their N-oxides (echimidine, acetylechimidine, uplandicine, 9-O-angelylretronecine, echiuplatine, leptanthine, and echimiplatine), one unidentified (echivulgarine), but previously found in honey, and two previously undescribed (vulgarine and 7-O-acetylvulgarine) pyrrolizidine alkaloids and/or their N-oxides were identified in the pollen. Tentative structures for these unidentified pyrrolizidine alkaloids are proposed on the basis of the mass spectrometric data and biogenetic considerations. The implications of these results for identifying the source and subsequent concentrations of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in honeys and commercial bee pollen are briefly discussed.

PMID:
15686407
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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