The Aster botanical family Asteraceae

The Aster (syn. Daisy) botanical family (Asteraceae Dum.) is very large, containing over 900 genera and more than 20 000 species (Table 3).

Their distribution is worldwide, and species belonging to this family are found everywhere. The Aster plant family contains species yielded in similar ways to some natural alkaloids.

The genus Ragwort (Senecio L.) is especially rich in L-ornithine (Figure 11) derived alkaloids (senecionine, senecivernine, seneciphylline, spartioidine, intergerrimine, jacobine, jacozine, sekirkine, jacoline, dehydrosenkirkine, eru-cifoline, jaconine, adonifoline, neosenkirkine, dehydrojaconine, usaramine, otosenine, eruciflorine, acetylerucifoline, sennecicannabine, deacetyldoronine, florosenine, floridamine, doronine)70 and the genus Knapweed (Centaurea L.) in alkaloids derived from L-tryptophan, for example afzelin and apigenin.

Figure 10. L-phenylalanine is a precursor of alkaloids in Skythantus species belonging to the Dogbane plant family.

Figure 10. L-phenylalanine is a precursor of alkaloids in Skythantus species belonging to the Dogbane plant family.

L-phenylalanine

L-phenylalanine

Table 3 General botanical characteristics of the Aster family312,313,316,311,318

Botanical Forms and Parts

Characteristics

Botanical form

Some typical genera

Special characteristics

Leaves

Flowers

Fruits Seeds

Herbs Shrubs

Trees (rarely)

Ambrosia

Antennaria

Artemisia

Aster

Baccharis

Bidens

Centaurea

Chrysothamnus

Cirsium

Coreopsis

Cousinia

Elephanthopus

Erigeron

Eupatorium

Gallardia

Gamochaeta

Gnaphalium

Haplopappus

Helianthus

Helichrysum

Hieracium

Jurinea

Liatris

Mikania

Rudbeckia

Sussurea

Senecio

Solidago

Verbensia

Vernonia

Milky juice, hairs

Alternate, opposite or whorled exstipulate

Regular or irregular Bisexual or unisexual Sometimes sterile calyx reduced Corolla tubular or flattened

Achene Pappus

Exalbuminous

L-ornithine

L-ornithine

Figure 11. L-ornithine is an important precursor of pyrrolidine, tropane and pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Alkaloid-containing species are distributed worldwide throughout the temperate areas. The Ragwort genus is endemic to Mediterranean and West Asian regions. From Senecio triangularis, other alkaloids were extracted. They are 9-O-acetyl-7-O-angelyl-retronecine, 7-O-angelyl-, 9-O-angelyl-, and 7-O-angelyl-9-O-sarracinylretronecine. Senecio pseudaureus and Senecio streptan-thifolios yield only retrorsine and senecionine71. However, a phytochemical investigation of Senecio divarigata L. (syn. Gynura divaricata DC.) has shown such alkaloids as intergerrimine and usaramine72. In Switzerland, the alkaloids of Petasites hybridus, found growing in many different places, have been studied73. Petasin, senecionine and intergerrimine were detected. Cheng and Röder74 have been isolated two pyrrolizidine alkaloids (senkirkine and doronine) from Emilia sonchifolia.

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