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Alkaloids from three South African Crinum species.

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The alkaloid content of three Crinum species namely C. bulbispermum, C. macowanii and C. moorei was investigated. The ethanolic extracts of C. bulbispermum yielded seven compounds. The new alkaloids 8α-ethoxyprecriwelline, N-desmethyl-8α-ethoxypretazettine and N-desmethyl-8β-ethoxypretazettine were isolated for the first time from a natural source. In addition, the known alkaloids bulbispermine, crinamine, 6-hydroxycrinamine and 3-O-acetylhamayne were isolated in this study. The ethanolic extracts of C. moorei were found to contain Iycorine, 1-O-acetyllycorine, crinine, 3-O-acetyllycrinine, epibuphanisine, powelline, crinamidine, undulatine, epivittatine, 1-epideacetylbowdensine, cherylline and the new alkaloids mooreine and 3-[4'-(2'-aminoethyl)phenoxy]bulbispermine. The alkaloids crinine, lycorine, bulbispermine, cherylline and hamayne were obtained from the ethanolic extracts of C. macowanii. In addition, the amine tyramine was identified during the isolation process. Dilute HCl solution extraction followed by GC analysis was used to investigate organ-to-organ and seasonal variation of alkaloids in each Crinum species, as well as the interspecific variation in these alkaloids over two consecutive years. Twelve alkaloids were identified, including crinine, epibuphanisine, powelline, crinamine, crinamidine, 6-hydroxycrinamine, 1-epideacetylbowdensine, 3-O-acetylhamayne, undulatine, Iycorine, 1-O-acetyllycorine and cherylline. Alkaloids were detected in all organs of C. moorei and C. macowanii. However, alkaloids were not detected in the leaves of C. bulbispermum. Organ-to-organ and seasonal variations in the total yield and total ring types of these alkaloids were noticed. Organ-to-organ and seasonal statistical variations were also detected for some of the individual alkaloids detected in each of these species. The results also showed that C. moorei had the highest levels of all individual alkaloids except crinamine when compared to C. bulbispermum and C. macowanii. Quantitatively, the detected alkaloids chemotaxonomically separated C. moorei from C. bulbispermum and C. macowanii. The results also indicated that C. macowanii is more closely related to C. bulbispermum. Qualitatively, Iycorine, 1-O-acetyllycorine, cherylline, crinamidine, 1-epideacetylbowdensine, crinine, crinamine and 3-O-acetylhamayne were detected in both C. moorei and C. macowanii, indicating the close relationship of these species.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2000.


Crinum spp., Alkaloids., Theses--Botany.