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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Mar 23;53(6):1914-20.

Quantification of saponins in aerial and subterranean tissues of Medicago truncatula.

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Plant Biology Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401, USA.


Triterpene saponins from aerial and subterranean organs of Medicago truncatula cv. Jemalong A-17 were qualitatively profiled and quantified using reverse-phase HPLC with on-line photodiode array detection and electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC/PDA/ESI/MS). Absolute quantifications were performed for 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-medicagenic acid and soyasaponin 1 (3-O-[alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl(1-->2)-beta-D-galactopyranosyl(1-->2)-beta-D-glucuronopyranoside] soyasapogenol B), whereas relative quantifications were determined for 29 other saponins in root, stem, leaf, seedpod, and seed. Roots contained the greatest total amount of saponins followed by leaf and seed, respectively. The quantitative data also reveal the differential accumulation of triterpene saponins in the various organs of M. truncatula. Specifically, relatively higher quantities of medicagenic acid conjugates accumulated in leaf and seed, whereas relatively higher levels of soysapogenol conjugates were observed in root. The differential accumulation of specific triterpene saponins is suggestive of spatially differentiated biosynthesis and/or biological function.

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