The geographical distribution of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal is quite wide. However, in Italy, this species is very rare and grows spontaneously only in Sicily and in Sardinia. The PCR–RAPD technique has been utilized in this work to determine the genetic relationship among Sicilian, Sardinian and Indian samples and the HPLC analysis of whitaferin A was used as a marker to evaluate the phytochemical differences. The genetic difference between Indian and Sicilian plants of W. somnifera turned out to be smaller than that between Indian and Sardinian plants of this species. The phytochemical analysis as well showed that the Sardinian specimen strongly differed from the Indian and Sicilian ones in its contents of withaferin A. Our results seem to confirm the hypothesis that the Italian populations of this species may not be indigenous but naturalised. Due to the high withaferin A content of the Sardinian samples, these plants could be used as a source for pharmaceutical purposes.

Genetic and phytochemical difference between some Indian and Italian plants of Whitania somnifera (L.) Dunal

ANTOGNONI, FABIANA;CONTE, LUCIA;POLI, FERRUCCIO
2007

Abstract

The geographical distribution of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal is quite wide. However, in Italy, this species is very rare and grows spontaneously only in Sicily and in Sardinia. The PCR–RAPD technique has been utilized in this work to determine the genetic relationship among Sicilian, Sardinian and Indian samples and the HPLC analysis of whitaferin A was used as a marker to evaluate the phytochemical differences. The genetic difference between Indian and Sicilian plants of W. somnifera turned out to be smaller than that between Indian and Sardinian plants of this species. The phytochemical analysis as well showed that the Sardinian specimen strongly differed from the Indian and Sicilian ones in its contents of withaferin A. Our results seem to confirm the hypothesis that the Italian populations of this species may not be indigenous but naturalised. Due to the high withaferin A content of the Sardinian samples, these plants could be used as a source for pharmaceutical purposes.
Scartezzini P.; Antognoni F.; Conte L.; Maxia A.; Troìa A.; Poli F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/46316
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