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Plant Physiol. 1966 Mar;41(3):432-6.

Chromatographic degradation of phloridzin.

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  • 1The Biological Laboratories, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Phloridzin, the main phenolic glucoside in apple leaves, has been found to undergo transformation during chromatography. When chromatographed repeatedly in ammoniacal solvents, at least 2 new derivatives appeared. One of these was identified as phloretic acid. When bioassayed in the presence of indole-3-acetic acid this substance behaved as though it promoted the destruction of the auxin. Comparative bioassay with naphthaleneacetic acid suggested that phloretic acid acts on indoleacetic acid destruction via stimulation of indoleacetic acid oxidase. However, at low concentration and in presence of a small amount of phloridzin it also showed a synergistic effect with indoleacetic acid.A substance with the same characteristics was obtained directly from apple leaves, which are known to contain phloridzin when the extracts were chromatographed only once in the same (alkaline) solvent. While not completely confirmed, this suggests that phloretic acid is normally present in apple leaves, where it may affect growth there by promoting indoleacetic acid oxidation.

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