Acta Botanica Brasilica
Print version ISSN 0102-3306
On-line version ISSN 1677-941X
SILVA, Rejane Maria da et al. Cuticular n-alkane in leaves of seven Neotropical species of the family Lecythidaceae: a contribution to chemotaxonomy. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2017, vol.31, n.1, pp.137-140. Epub Mar 13, 2017. ISSN 0102-3306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0102-33062016abb0387.
Biosynthesized from very long-chain fatty acid wax precursors, n-alkanes make a valuable contribution to the taxonomy of plants. The alkane components of foliar epicuticles of seven Neotropical species of Lecythidaceae were investigated: Bertholletia excelsa, Cariniana legalis, Couroupita guianensis, Eschweilera alvimii, Eschweilera ovata, Gustavia augusta and Lecythis pisonis. Specimens were collected in the metropolitan area of Recife, Pernambuco, and their n-alkane fractions were analyzed by gas chromatography. The chemical relationships among the species were then evaluated using cophenetic correlation and UPGMA. Among the seven species, a total of 15 n-alkanes, with 21-35 carbon atoms, were identified and formed a consistent group of B. excelsa, C. guianensis, E. ovata, G. augusta, and L. pisonis with n-C31. The greatest similarities were found between B. excelsa and L. pisonis, and between C. guianensis and G. augusta. Nevertheless, a phenetic analysis based on a larger number of species is needed to better understand the chemotaxonomic value of epicuticular n-alkanes within the Lecythidaceae.
Keywords : Lecythidaceae; Neotropics; taxonomy; tropical rain forest; wax.