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Keywords:

  • Formylated phloroglucinol compound;
  • eucalypt;
  • folivorous;
  • marsupial;
  • sonication

Abstract

A rapid method is described for the quantification of sideroxylonals, a group of formylated phloroglucinol compounds found in some eucalypts. Samples of dry, ground foliage were extracted by sonication with 20% methanol in acetonitrile, 7% water in acetonitrile or 40% water in acetonitrile and the extracts analysed by reversed phase HPLC. The extracts from the two water–acetonitrile extractions were stable for at least 48 h. All three sonication methods recovered more sideroxylonals than did the Soxhlet extraction with petroleum spirit and acetone. Adding 0.1% trifluoracetic acid to the water–acetonitrile extraction solvents led to even higher recoveries of sideroxylonals. Soaking the sample in extracting solvent for 5 min recovered 70% of the sideroxylonals, whilst sonicating the suspension for 1 min recovered the remainder. The developed method involving sonication of the sample for 5 min in 7% water in acetonitrile with 0.1% trifluoroacetic acid is fast and requires minimal equipment and solvents compared with the traditional methods. With an autosampler it is possible to prepare and run 100 samples a day. More importantly, the technique is ideal for the analysis of small samples, e.g. individual leaves, which is essential when studying the evolutionary ecology of eucalypts. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.