Variability of n-Alkanes and Nonacosan-10-ol in Natural Populations of Picea omorika

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Abstract

This is the first report of population variability of the contents of n-alkanes and nonacosan-10-ol in the needle epicuticular waxes of Serbian spruce (Picea omorika). The hexane extracts of needle samples originated from three natural populations in Serbia (Vranjak, Zmajevački potok, and Mileševka Canyon) were investigated by GC and GC/MS analyses. The amount of nonacosan-10-ol varied individually from 50.05 to 74.42% (65.74% in average), but the differences between the three investigated populations were not statistically confirmed. The results exhibited variability of the composition of n-alkanes in the epicuticular waxes with their size ranging from C18 to C35. The most abundant n-alkanes were C29, C31, and C27 (35.22, 13.77, and 12.28% in average, resp.). The carbon preference index of all the n-alkanes (CPItotal) of the P. omorika populations (average of populations IIII) ranged from 3.3 to 11.5 (mean of 5.9), while the average chain length (ACL) ranged from 26.6 to 29.2. The principal component and cluster analyses of the contents of nine n-alkanes showed the greatest difference for the population growing in the Mileševka Canyon. The obtained results were compared with previous literature data given for other Picea species, and this comparison was briefly discussed.

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