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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Metabolic profiling of saponins in Medicago sativa and Medicago truncatula using HPLC coupled to an electrospray ion-trap mass spectrometer.

Triterpene saponins isolated from Medicago sativa (alfalfa) and Medicago truncatula roots were separated, profiled and identified using an optimized, reversed-phase HPLC with on-line photodiode array detection and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry method (HPLC/PDA/ ESI/MS). ESI source polarity and solvent conditions were compared. The effects of these parameters on mass spectral attributes were determined. Ion structures were confirmed using tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Fifteen saponins were identified in alfalfa (cultivars Apollo, Radius, and Kleszczewska) based upon negative-ion HPLC/PDA/ ESI/MS, HPLC/PDA/ ESI/MS/MS and literature data. In addition, the identification of two new malonated saponins in alfalfa are proposed. Negative-ion HPLC/PDA/ ESI/MS and HPLC/PDA/ ESI/MS/MS spectra were utilized along with HPLC retention times to profile and identify 27 saponins in M. truncatula (cultivar Jemalong, A17). M. truncatula yielded a much more complex mixture of saponins than observed for alfalfa. The authors are not aware of any previous reports identifying saponin glycosides in M. truncatula.[1]


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