Cytomorphological studies and hptlc fingerprinting in different plant parts of three wild morphotypes of Datura metel L. “Thorn Apple” from North India

Vivek Sharma, Nisha Sharma, Bikram Singh, Raghbir C. Gupta


Datura metel L. (Solanaceae) with its trade name “Thorn Apple” is a herb that exists in tropical, warm temperate regions of the old world, throughout the hills of India, up to an altitude of 8000 ft. The objective of the present study is to investigate the morphological and phytochemical variabilities in the wild taxa of D. metel. On the basis of 17 phenotypic traits three morphotypes I, II and III were identified, and highly significant variations were seen among them. The three morphotypes of the species, with quite distinct flower colours, that is, purple, yellow and white, had the same diploid chromosome number n=12. The pharmacological activities of D. metel are mainly attributed to the presence of two tropane alkaloids, namely hyoscyamine and scopolamine. For the systematic
quantification of hyoscyamine and scopolamine in different plant parts such as, leaves, roots and seeds of these three wild morphotypes (I, II and III) of D. metel, the high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) technique was employed. Better resolution was achieved by using chloroform:acetone:diethyl amine (50: 40: 10 v/v/v) as a mobile phase. Quantitative, densitometric evaluation of
the plate was performed in the absorbance/reflectance mode at 530 nm. The average recovery of hyoscyamine and scopolamine was 97.4 and 96.8%, respectively, showing the excellent reproducibility of the method. The calibration curves were linear in the range of 1000–4000 ng for hyoscyamine and 500-2000 ng for scopolamine, respectively. The method was simple, precise, specific, sensitive, accurate and could be used for routine analysis as well as quality control of raw materials and herbal formulations. The present study has established a link between cytomorphological variations and chemical characterization for the first time and was also helpful in discovering the best genotype with richer active constituents for future herbal formulations.
Key words: Cytotypes, datura metel L, morphotypes, high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), hyoscyamine,

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