Highly different flavonol content explains geographic variations in the UV reflecting properties of flowers of the corn poppy, Papaver rhoeas (Papaveraceae)

Bettina Dudek, Bernd Schneider, Hartmut H. Hilger, Doekele G. Stavenga, Jaime Martinez-Harms

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Papaver rhoeas, the corn poppy, is a very common weed in cereal fields all over the world. Its flowers generally display a bright red coloration, but their reflectance in the ultraviolet (UV) wavelength range varies geographically. Whereas the UV reflectance of East Mediterranean flowers is minor, that of Central European ones is substantial. By comparing the pigmentation of the differently reflecting flowers, we found that only East Mediterranean flower petals contain high amounts of UV absorbing flavonol glycosides. The most abundant compounds were isolated by solid phase extraction and preparative HPLC, and their structures were elucidated by NMR and HRESI-MS, yielding seven kaempferol and quercetin glycosides, mostly unknown in P. rhoeas petals. Additionally, reflectance and transmittance measurements revealed that wavelength-selective scattering effects do not contribute to the flower color differences observed within this species. Possible abiotic and biotic factors influencing the UV reflecting properties of East Mediterranean and Central European poppies are discussed.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's8
StatusPublished - okt.-2020

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