Extractives from Neobeguea mahafalensis and Cedrelopsis grevei.
Kotsos, Maria Paraskevi.
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Neobeguea mahafalensis Leroy. and Cedrelopsis grevei Baill. are the two Madagascan species which were investigated in this work. Neobeguea mahafalensis Leroy. belongs to the Neobeguea genus of the Meliaceae family and is a plant unique to Madagascar. It is commonly referred to as "Handy" by the native people of Madagascar, who use it as a medicinal plant. The stem-bark of N mahafalensis which has been analysed in this work, was collected from the dry, thorny forests of the deep south of Madagascar. Most species found in this region are unique in the world and are highly specialised in adapting to the very dry climate. The hexane extract was found to yield a limonoid (compound I) which has not been previously reported as a natural product. The known pentacyclic triterpenoid, j3-amyrin (compound II) and stigmasterol (compound III), were also isolated. Cedrelopsis grevei Bail!. is one of seven species of the genus Cedrelopsis which are confined to Madagascar. This species, commonly referred to as "Katrafay" by the Madagascan people, has undergone intensive chemical investigation as prior inclusion ofthis species in the Meliaceae family has always been questionable. The South African species Ptaeroxylon obliquum (Thung.) Radlk., is a member of the Ptaeroxylaceaefamily which is found to be so chemically similar to Cedrelopsis that the latter has been placed in the Ptaeroxylaceae family. The stem bark of Cedrelopsis grevei was obtained from the dry southern part of Madagascar and yielded a variety of chromones and coumarins, as well as stigmasterol (compound III) and the pentacyclic triterpenoid, j3-amyrin (compound II). Two chromones were isolated from Cedrelopsis grevei, namely ptaeroxylinol (compound IV) and ptaeroglycol (compound V). Ptaeroglycol has been previously isolated _from this species as well as from Ptaeroxylon obliquum whereas ptaeroxylinol has only byen isolated from Ptaeroxylon obliquum. Six coumarins were isolated from Cedrelopsis grevei in tillS study, all of which were 6,7-dioxygenated coumarins. These included the known compounds, scoparone (compound VI), O-methylcedrelopsin (compound VIII), norbraylin (compound X) and cedrelopsin (compound IX), as well as compound VII and compound XI which . have not been reported previously. No limonoids were isolated from this species in this investigation.