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Alkanes of foliar epicuticular waxes of the genus encephalartos

, : Alkanes of foliar epicuticular waxes of the genus encephalartos. Phytochemistry (Oxford) 28(11): 3027-3030

The n-alkane distribution patterns in the epicuticular leaf wax of 42 taxa of Encephalartos, a major genus of Cycadales, are reported from GC analyses. Three chemical groups are identified. Group A has well-defined maxima for the odd carbon atom numbered alkanes n-C29, n-C31 and n-C33, a distribution commonly reported from higher plants. Group B shows a skewed normal n-alkane profile centered around n-C20, while Group C has a bimodal n-C20/n-C25-31 pattern. The latter two groupings are atypical for higher plants and are tentatively explained in terms of an .alpha.-oxidation process in the usual elongation-decarboxylation biosynthetic route. The chemical groups are not obviously correlated with the existing taxonomy of the genus. Mature levels from seedling plants show similar n-alkane profiles to those of older plants of the same species.


DOI: 10.1016/0031-9422(89)80272-9

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