No Evidence of Geographical Structure of Salicinoid Chemotypes within Populus Tremula
PLoS ONE 2014; 9(10):e107189
Keefover-Ring K, Ahnlund M, Abreu IN, Jansson S, Moritz T, Albrectsen BR

Abstract
Salicinoids are well-known defense compounds in salicaceous trees and careful screening at the population level is warranted to fully understand their diversity and function. European aspen, Populus tremula, is a foundation species in Eurasia and highly polymorphic in Sweden. We exhaustively surveyed 102 replicated genotypes from the Swedish Aspen collection (SwAsp) for foliar salicinoids using UHPLC-ESI-TOF/MS and identified nine novel compounds, bringing the total to 19 for this species. Salicinoid structure followed a modular architecture of a salicin skeleton with added side groups, alone or in combination. Two main moieties, 2′-cinnamoyl and 2′-acetyl, grouped the SwAsp population into four distinct chemotypes, and the relative allocation of salicinoids was remarkably constant between different environments, implying a highly channeled biosynthesis of these compounds. Slightly more than half of the SwAsp genotypes belonged to the cinnamoyl chemotype. A fraction synthesized the acetyl moiety alone (~7%) or in combination with cinnamoyl (~2%), and close to forty percent lacked either of the two characteristic moieties, and thus resemble P. tremuloides in their salicinoid profile. The two most abundant chemotypes were evenly distributed throughout Sweden, unlike geographical patterns reported for SwAsp phenology traits, plant defense genes, and herbivore community associations. Here we present the salicinoid characterization of the SwAsp collection as a resource for future studies of aspen chemical ecology, salicinoid biosynthesis, and genetics.

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