Quantitative Analysis of Phenylpropanoid Glycerol Glucosides in Different Organs of Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.)

John P. Munafo, Thomas J. Gianfagna

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The Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) is esteemed worldwide as an attractive ornamental plant, and the flower buds and bulbs are used for both culinary and medicinal purposes in many parts of the world. L. longiflorum contains significant amounts of phenylpropanoid glycerol glucosides, a group of compounds that may contribute to plant pathogen defense, ultraviolet/high-intensity visible light (UV/high light) protection, and the purported medicinal uses of lilies. To define the natural distribution of these compounds within the plant, a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method performed in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode was employed for the quantitative analysis of five phenylpropanoid glycerol glucosides, namely, (2S)-1-O-caffeoyl-2-O-β-D-glucopyranosylglycerol, 1; (2R)-1-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-2-O-p-coumaroylglycerol, 2; (2S)-1-O-p-coumaroyl-2-O-β-D-glucopyranosylglycerol, 3; (2S)-1-O-caffeoyl-2-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-3-O-acetylglycerol, 4; and (2S)-1-O-p-coumaroyl-2-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-3-O-acetylglycerol, 5, in the different organs of L. longiflorum. The p-coumaroyl-based 3 and its acetylated derivative 5 were determined to be the most abundant of the phenylpropanoid glycerol glucosides found in Easter lily bulbs, at 776.3 ± 8.4 and 650.7 ± 32.6 μg/g dry weight, respectively. The acetylated p-coumaroyl- and caffeoyl-based derivatives, 5 and 4, accumulated to the highest concentration in the closed flower buds, at 4925.2 ± 512.8 and 3216.8 ± 406.4 μg/g dry weight, respectively. Compound 4, followed by 5 and 1, proved to be the most abundant in the mature flowers, occurring at 6006.2 ± 625.8, 2160.3 ± 556.5, and 1535.8 ± 174.1 μg/g dry weight, respectively. Total concentrations of the phenylpropanoid glycerol glucosides were 10-100-fold higher in the above-ground plant organs as compared to the bulbs and fleshy roots. Two of the five compounds, 1 and 2, were identified in L. longiflorum for the first time. The quantitative analysis of phenylpropanoid glycerol glucosides in the different plant organs of L. longiflorum will establish the direction of investigations aimed at defining how these compounds function in the physiology and chemical ecology of the plant and also as a starting point for determining their possible effects on human health, which has not been investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4836-4842
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 20 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


  • Easter lily
  • Liliaceae
  • Lilium longiflorum Thunb.
  • phenylpropanoid glycerol glucosides
  • regalosides


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