Variation in the flavonolignan composition of fruits from different Silybum marianum chemotypes and suspension cultures derived therefrom.Phytochemistry 2016; 131:68-75P
Mature fruits collected from different milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) plants, grown in various habitats in Europe, were analysed for silymarin content and variation in component composition. Two different German and Polish cultivars each, as well as fruits from Hungary and Bulgaria have been compared with respect to their ratio of flavonolignan regioisomers. Besides differences in total silymarin content (0.8%-4.9%), three distinct chemotypical variations in fruit flavonolignan regioisomer composition in the cultivars have been observed. Although the differences in the diastereomer ratios of silybin A/B and isosilybin A/B were not significant, they never appeared in a 1:1 ratio. In vitro cultures have been established from seedlings of three typical chemotypes for further insights into flavonolignan content and composition in suspension cultures and the release of these specialized compounds to the extracellular space. The differences in the three Silybum marianum chemotypes were also observed in the composition of the intracellular silymarin of suspension-cultured cells. Silymarin components released to the cell culture medium, however, showed a highly differing composition with only low amounts of silychristin and silydianin. Assays with crude protein extracts prepared from suspension cells or habituated medium of these three chemotypes did not result in differences in silymarin content or composition. In in vitro assays the formation of the regioisomers silydianin and silychristin were strongly influenced by the taxifolin:coniferyl alcohol concentration ratio.