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Plant Cell Rep. 2004 Nov;23(6):419-25. Epub 2004 Sep 22.

A metabolomic analysis of medicinal diversity in Huang-qin (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi) genotypes: discovery of novel compounds.

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Institute for Ethnobotany, National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, HI 96741, USA.


In vitro manipulation of plant regeneration in the Chinese medicinal species Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Huang-qin) resulted in 26 chemically distinct germplasm lines. Antioxidant potential, growth rate and concentration of baicalin, baicalein, melatonin, and wogonin were the selective markers used to identify elite lines. Metabolomic analysis of a subset of the most distinct lines revealed that Huang-qin extracts contained over 2,000 compounds including 781 determined to be of putative medicinal importance as determined by a database search, as well as previously unidentified amino-derivatives of baicalin and wogonin. Huang-qin also contained a metabolite with the same net formula as hyperforin, previously thought to be unique to Hypericum perforatum L. Together these results provide new insights into the biochemical complexity of an important medicinal species and demonstrate the power of in vitro manipulation in combination with untargeted metabolomic screening for the production of new germplasm.

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