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New Discovery of Pattern of Purine Alkaloids in Wild Tea Trees

YE Chuang-xing1, HIROSHI Ashihara2, ZHENG Xin-qiang2, WANG Xiu-juan1, GAO Kun1, ZHANG Hong-da1 (1.School of Life Sciences,Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275,China; 2. Department of Biology,Ochanomizu University,Otsuka, Bumkyo-Ku, Tokyo, 112-8610, Japan)  
The composition of purine alkaloids in kucha (Camellia assamica var. kucha Chang et Wang) were investigated from its one buds and two leaves including cultivated and wild samples in detail by qualitative TLC and quantitative HPLC, the results indicate that major purine alkaloids were 1,3,7,9-tetramethyluric acid (theacrine) and caffeine. Theacrine in most of individuals inner variety was the major purine alkaloid and its content was from 1.3% to 3.4% dried weight. And theacrine in kucha was always companied with caffeine and theobromine. The concentration of theacrine was highest in apex buds, and then were rapidly decreased from young, mature to aged leaves. The theacrine content were changed together with seasons but its characterization of theacrine as major purine alkaloid were not changed in identified individual trees with major theacrine. In some individual trees, the theacrine content was changeable, sometime major purine was theacrine and otherwise was caffeine. Containing predominant theacrine in kucha is a new record not only in taxa of genus Camellia Section Thea(L.)Dyer but also is a new record in flowering plants.
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