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Phytochemistry. 2005 Feb;66(3):345-53.

Sesquiterpene lactone-based classification of three Asteraceae tribes: a study based on self-organizing neural networks applied to chemosystematics.

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Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. do Café s/n, 14040-903 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.


This work describes an application of artificial neural networks on a small data set of sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) of three tribes of the family Asteraceae. Structurally different types of representative STLs from seven subtribes of the tribes Eupatorieae, Heliantheae and Vernonieae were selected as input data for self-organizing neural networks. Encoding the 3D molecular structures of STLs and their projection onto Kohonen maps allowed the classification of Asteraceae into tribes and subtribes. This approach allowed the evaluation of structural similarities among different sets of 3D structures of sesquiterpene lactones and their correlation with the current taxonomic classification of the family. Predictions of the occurrence of STLs from a plant species according to the taxa they belong to were also performed by the networks. The methodology used in this work can be applied to chemosystematic or chemotaxonomic studies of Asteraceae.

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