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Chemical Constituents of Pedicularis longiflora var. tubiformis (Orobanchaceae), a Common Hemiparasitic Medicinal Herb from the Qinghai Lake Basin, China

Feng Liu1,2,3, Zilan Ma1,2,3, Marcos A. Caraballo-Ortiz4, Hui Zhang5, Xu Su1,2,3, Yuping Liu1,2,3,*

1 Key Laboratory of Medicinal Animal and Plant Resources of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in Qinghai Province, School of Life Science, Qinghai Normal University, Xining, 810008, China
2 Key Laboratory of Physical Geography and Environmental Process in Qinghai Province, Qinghai Normal University, Xining, 810008, China
3 Key Laboratory of Education Ministry of Earth Surface Processes and Ecological Conservation of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Qinghai Normal University, Xining, 810008, China
4 Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 200013-7012, USA
5 Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100093, China

* Corresponding Author: Yuping Liu. Email:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2020, 89(4), 1083-1090.


Pedicularis longiflora var. tubiformis (Orobanchaceae) is an abundant parasitic herb mainly found in the Xiaopohu wetland of the Qinghai Lake Basin in Northwestern China. The species has an important local medicinal value, and in this study, we evaluated the chemical profile of its stems, leaves and seeds using mass spectrometry. Dried samples of stems, leaves and seeds were grinded, weighted, and used for a series of extractions with an ultrasonic device at room temperature. The chemical profiles for each tissue were determined using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and Liquid ChromatographyMass Spectrometry (LC-MS). Twenty-seven amino acids and organic acids were identified and quantified from stems, leaves and seeds. The content of amino acids detected in leaves and seeds was higher than the amount found in stems. Six flavonoids were also detected, including isoorientin, orientin, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, luteolin, apigenin and tricin. The concentrations of luteolin-7-O-glucoside, luteolin and tricin were the highest and more concentrated in leaves, while that of orientin was the lowest and mainly found in stems. Soluble monosaccharides and oligosaccharides below tetramer were also examined, and our analyses detected the presence of arabitol, fructose, galacturonic acid, glucose, glucuronic acid, inositol, sucrose, and trehalose. This is the first study to identify and quantify the main components of amino acids, organic acids, flavonoids and soluble sugars from stems, leaves and seeds of P. longiflora var. tubiformis. Eight of the amino acids detected are essential for humans, highlighting the medicinal importance of this species. Results shown here can be used as a reference case to develop future studies on the chemical constituents of Pedicularis herbs and other medicinal plants from the Tibetan region.


Cite This Article

Liu, F., Ma, Z., Caraballo-Ortiz, M. A., Zhang, H., Su, X. et al. (2020). Chemical Constituents of Pedicularis longiflora var. tubiformis (Orobanchaceae), a Common Hemiparasitic Medicinal Herb from the Qinghai Lake Basin, China. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 89(4), 1083–1090.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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