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Large Inter- and Intraspecies Variability of Polyphenols and Proanthocyanidins in Eight Temperate Forage Species Indicates Potential for Their Exploitation as Nutraceuticals

Cite this: J. Agric. Food Chem. 2021, 69, 42, 12445–12455
Publication Date (Web):October 18, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c03898
Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society
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Abstract

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Substantial efforts have been made in incorporating tannin-rich forages into grassland-based livestock production systems. However, the structural and functional diversity of tannins in different species limits their potential use at the field scale. We conducted a greenhouse experiment with 17 cultivars from 8 forage species and their cultivars. Ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry was used to analyze their polyphenolic profile and proanthocyanidin (PA) structural features in leaves. Our results highlight large inter- and intraspecies variability of plants in terms of polyphenol and tannin concentrations in the leaves. A concomitant and significant variation was also registered in the structural features of PA-rich forages such as the mean degree of polymerization and prodelphinidin percentage. The concentration of PA also varied within plant organs; the highest concentration was in flowers, but leaves had the highest contribution to harvestable PA biomass. Our research highlights that identifying these variations helps in identifying the representativeness of bioactivity and provides the basis for targeted breeding programs.

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  • Concentration of different polyphenolic subunits across the different species and their cultivars; extractable (E-PA) and NE-PA concentration in different plant organs of the analyzed species and their cultivars; and determination of PA amount in the plant organs (PDF)

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