Variation of sesquiterpene lactones in Lactuca aculeata natural populations from Israel, Jordan and Turkey

Alex Beharav, Roi Ben-David, Janusz Malarz, Anna Stojakowska, Klaudia Michalska, Ivana Doležalová, Aleš Lebeda, Wanda Kisiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A comparative phytochemical study of seven sesquiterpene lactones in natural populations of the wild lettuce Lactuca aculeata Boiss. (Asteraceae) was performed, based on 23 accessions derived from eight, two, and single localities from Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, respectively. The compounds were profiled and quantified in leaves and roots of the plants, grown from achenes (cypselas) in a greenhouse under controlled conditions, using reverse phase HPLC with on-line photodiode array detector. In the present study, L. aculeata was confirmed as a taxon strongly characterized by four dominant sesquiterpene lactones: 8-deoxylactucin, jacquinelin, crepidiaside B and lactuside A. An analysis of quantitative results of these four constituents led to the following conclusions: (i) the sesquiterpene lactone contents varied significantly, mainly within the populations; however, for two variables (crepidiaside B and lactuside A in root samples) the contents varied mostly between populations, (ii) these differences are likely to be genetically controlled since all accessions were grown under standardized glasshouse conditions. Accessions containing high levels of some sesquiterpene lactones were found in several populations. These traits should be conserved in situ and ex situ and utilized in further research and lettuce improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-611
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Systematics and Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A. Beharav thanks the Research Authority, University of Haifa, Israel, for financial support for the unique germplasm collection used in this study. We also thank E. Nevo, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, for part of the germplasm used. The financial support of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland (statutory activity founding), is gratefully acknowledged. The research was also supported by grant MSM 6198959215 ( Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic ).


  • Lactucin
  • Middle East
  • Natural populations
  • Plant germplasm
  • Secondary metabolite diversity
  • Wild lettuce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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