Flavonoids and Populational Variation

  • Bruce A. Bohm
  • Tod F. Stuessy


It is our purpose in this chapter to talk about variation in flavonoid profiles among populations within species. Most workers recognize that chemical variants occur naturally, and that such differences may be grounds for additional studies, which may in time lead to formal recognition of infraspecific taxa. Infraspecific taxa based solely on chemical variants, however, are not recommended. For an alternative view, the reader should consult the lengthy article by Tétényi (1970) who argued that chemical varieties (chemovars) ought to be recognized formally. Regardless of one’s position on this point, it should be appreciated that any set of unusual or unexpected results, chemicals included, can lead to a better understanding of the system at hand. Re-evaluation of current taxonomy is not out of the question. An excellent example of this phenomenon, although it involves neither flavonoids nor interpopulational variation, is the discovery of the structure of betacyanins, which led to renewed investigation of Centrospermae (Mabry, 1966; Piattelli, 1981).


Dimethyl Ether Methyl Ether Flavonol Glycoside Flavonoid Aglycone Infraspecific Taxon 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce A. Bohm
    • 1
  • Tod F. Stuessy
    • 2
  1. 1.Botany DepartmentUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Higher Plant Systematics and Evolution, Botanical Garden, Institute of BotanyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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