Betaine distribution in the Amaranthaceae

Gerald Blunden, Ming He Yang, Gábor Janicsák, Imre Máthé, Alfredo Carabot-Cuervo

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Aerial parts of 23 species distributed in 10 genera of the Amaranthaceae have been examined for the presence of betaines. Glycinebetaine was isolated from all the species studied and, in addition, trigonelline was detected in eight out of the nine species of Amaranthus, 1 of the two species of Alternanthera and in the species of Iresine (3), Celosia (2), Chamissoa (1), Aerva (1), Gomphrena (1) and Froelichia (1). With the exception of I. herbstii, glycinebetaine was the predominant betaine. The highest yield of this compound was from Cyathula geniculata (2.11%, dry weight), but, with the exception of I. herbstii (0.05%), the species tested had contents in the range 0.28-2.11%, dry weight. Trigonelline yields varied from 0.004 to 0.15 %, dry weight. From the data obtained, classification of the Amaranthaceae as a betaine - accumulating family would appear to be justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Systematics and Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1999



  • Amaranthaceae
  • Betaines
  • Chemotaxonomy
  • Glycinebetaine
  • Trigonelline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry

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