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Molecular Weight Determination and Correlation Analysis of Dalbergia sissoo Polysaccharide with Constituent Oligosaccharides


V. Kumar, Chemistry Division, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun-248006, India. E-mail:



Mucilaginous polysaccharide extracted from Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. leaves has a number of medicinal applications. Molecular weight studies and correlation analysis of the structure of polysaccharide with oligosaccharides can be helpful for further utilisation, modification and structure–activity relationship for biological applications.


To determine molecular weight of medicinally important polysaccharide. To establish an unequivocal correlation of the polysaccharide monosugars with constituting oligosaccharides and glucuronic acid content based on gas–liquid chromatography (GLC) with the spectrophotometric method.


Complete and partial hydrolytic studies of pure polysaccharide yielded constituting monosugars and oligosaccharides. The ratio of sugars in polysaccharide and oligosaccharides was studied by preparation of alditol acetates and analysed using GLC. The uronic acid content was studied by GLC analysis and spectrophotometry. Molecular weight of the polysaccharide was determined using the viscometric method.


Dalbergia sissoo leaves yielded 14.0% pure polysaccharide, containing 15.7% of glucuronic acid. Complete hydrolysis and GLC analysis of alditol acetate derivatives of reduced and unreduced monosugars indicated the presence of l-rhamnose, d-glucuronic acid, d-galactose and d-glucose in 1.00:1.00:2.00:2.33 molar ratios. Partial hydrolysis followed by monosugar analysis of oligosaccharides established the monosugar ratio in complete agreement with polysaccharide, thereby corroborating the sugar ratio. Similar uronic acid content was obtained by GLC and spectrophotometry. The polysaccharide had an average molecular weight of 1.5 × 105 Da.


The study has established an obvious correlation of the structure of polysaccharide with oligosaccharides, leading to unambiguous identification of monosaccharides, which normally is not studied conclusively while reporting the polysaccharide structure. The molecular weight of the polysaccharide was determined. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.