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J Sep Sci. 2016 Apr;39(7):1286-94. doi: 10.1002/jssc.201501279.

Classification of the medicinal plants of the genus Atractylodes using high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array and tandem mass spectrometry detection combined with multivariate statistical analysis.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, College of Pharmacy, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea.
College of Pharmacy, Dankook University, Cheonan, South Korea.


Analytical methods using high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array and tandem mass spectrometry detection were developed for the discrimination of the rhizomes of four Atractylodes medicinal plants: A. japonica, A. macrocephala, A. chinensis, and A. lancea. A quantitative study was performed, selecting five bioactive components, including atractylenolide I, II, III, eudesma-4(14),7(11)-dien-8-one and atractylodin, on twenty-six Atractylodes samples of various origins. Sample extraction was optimized to sonication with 80% methanol for 40 min at room temperature. High-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection was established using a C18 column with a water/acetonitrile gradient system at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min, and the detection wavelength was set at 236 nm. Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry was applied to certify the reliability of the quantitative results. The developed methods were validated by ensuring specificity, linearity, limit of quantification, accuracy, precision, recovery, robustness, and stability. Results showed that cangzhu contained higher amounts of atractylenolide I and atractylodin than baizhu, and especially atractylodin contents showed the greatest variation between baizhu and cangzhu. Multivariate statistical analysis, such as principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis, were also employed for further classification of the Atractylodes plants. The established method was suitable for quality control of the Atractylodes plants.


Atractylodes plants; Liquid chromatography; Multivariate statistical analysis; Quality control; Quantitative analysis

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