Exploring variation in proanthocyanidin composition and content of sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia)

Authors

  • Blasius N Azuhnwi,

    1. Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, Posieux, Switzerland
    2. ETH Zurich, Institute of Animal Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland
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    • Current address: IHAP INRA ENVT, 23 chemin des Capelles, BP 87614, 31076 Toulouse Cedex 03, France
  • Beat Boller,

    1. Agroscope Reckenholz-Tanikon Research Station ART, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • Frigga Dohme-Meier,

    1. Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, Posieux, Switzerland
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  • Hans D Hess,

    1. Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, Posieux, Switzerland
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  • Michael Kreuzer,

    1. ETH Zurich, Institute of Animal Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • Elisabetta Stringano,

    1. Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK
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    • Present address: Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals and Oncology Injectables, EBEWE Pharma GmbH Nfg. KG, Unterach, Austria
  • Irene Mueller-Harvey

    Corresponding author
    1. Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK
    • Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP, Posieux, Switzerland
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Correspondence to: Irene Mueller-Harvey, Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, 1 Earley Gate, PO Box 236, Reading RG6 6AT, UK. E-mail: i.mueller-harvey@reading.ac.uk

Abstract

Background

To maximise the potential benefits to ruminants from sainfoin, plant breeding should focus on developing varieties with predictable condensed tannin (CT) profiles. Little is known about whether and to what extent accession and environment influence sainfoin CT structures. We sought to investigate the likely extent of accession and environment effects on CT characteristics of sainfoin. Four single-flowering (Communis) accessions and two multiple-flowering (Bifera) accessions, grown at three sites and collected at two harvest times were used. Sainfoin CTs were characterised by thiolytic degradation and by high-performance liquid chromatography–gel permeation chromatography (HPLC-GPC). Also, CT concentration measured earlier by the HCl–butanol method was compared with that from thiolysis.

Results

Thiolysis revealed that accession and harvest influenced most CT structural attributes. Bifera CTs eluted as single peaks (Mp < 6220 Da) in HPLC-GPC across the two harvests and two sites, whereas Communis generated two to three CT peaks, which included a peak (Mp ≤ 9066 Da) in the second harvest. A discrepancy was observed in CT concentrations measured by the two methods.

Conclusion

CTs from Bifera accessions had more stable and predictable characteristics across harvests and sites and this could be of interest when breeding sainfoin. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry

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