Planta Med 2010; 76 - P202
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1264500

Phytochemical study of the seed shell of the Myrica gale by HPLC-SPE-NMR

J Fang 1, C Paetz 1, B Schneider 1
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Biosythesis/NMR Group, Hans Knöll Str. 8, 07745 Jena, Germany

Myrica gale L. (Myricaseae), commonly known as sweet gale and bog myrthle [1], is a shrub widely distributed at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere [2]. It is known that the fruits of M. gale were used as a predominant beer additive before the utilization of hops (Humulus lupulus L.) in the tenth century [1].


HPLC-SPE-NMR is a hyphenated technology developed in the 1990th for separation of components and elucidation the structures from a mixture. We applied HPLC-SPE-NMR and LC-MS to elucidate the structures of 13 phenols, inculding seven dihydrochalcones, four flavonols and a chalcone, from 10mg extract of M. gale seed shell. Seven compounds were isolated from M. gale for the first time, and the rare C-methyl dihydrochalcones may serve as the chemotaxonomic markers for the Myrica genus. The occurrence in the seed shell sugguests involvement of the compounds in the protection against pathogenic microorganisms or herbivores.

Acknowledgements: Authors acknowledge the Max Planck Society (MPG) and the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for the financial support.

References: 1. Behre, KE (1999) Veg. Hist. Archaeobot. 8: 35–48.

2. Skene, KR. et al. (2000)J. Ecol. 88: 1079–1094.