J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (8): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00283.x

• Research Articles •    

Palaeophytochemical Constituents of Cretaceous Ginkgo coriacea Florin Leaves

You-Xing Zhao, Cheng-Sen Li, Xiao-Dong Luo, Yu-Fei Wang and Jun Zhou   

Abstract: Chemical investigation of the organic solvent extract of Cretaceous Ginkgo coriacea Florin leaves by liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), analogous to those from extant leaves of Ginkgo biloba L., led to the detection of a group of natural flavonoids and other volatiles. The similarity of the chemical constituents in these two species of Ginkgo suggest that the secondary metabolism of extant G. biloba is close to that of the Cretaceous species. The remaining natural products may be one explanation why the leaves of the Cretaceous G. coriacea have been preserved morphologically in fossilization. The detection of flavonoids suggests that the leaves of G. coriacea experienced a mild post-depositional environment during their fossilization. This appears to be the oldest occurrence of flavonoids in plant fossils.(Author for correspondence.Tel: (0)871 522 3264; Fax: (0)871 522 3261; E-mail:jzhou@mail.kib.ac.cn)

Key words: constituents, Cretaceous, fossil, Ginkgo biloba, Ginkgo coriacea, palaeophytochemistry.

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