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Pure Appl. Chem., 2002, Vol. 74, No. 4, pp. 557-574

Biodiversity in the alkaloids of Turkish Papaver species

Günay Sariyar

University of Istanbul, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacognosy, 34452, Istanbul, Turkey

There are about 35 Papaver species growing in Turkey, which are grouped into eight sections, namely Argemonidium, Carinata, Glauca, Miltantha, Oxytona, Papaver, Pilosa, and Rhoeadium.
As a result of our extensive work on the alkaloids of Turkish Papaver species the presence of several chemotypes has been shown. Among these chemotypes, medicinally important alkaloids such as noscapine (=narcotine), papaverine- and thebaine-containing samples have been found as new sources for the production of them.
The infraspecific variation encountered within the Papaver species has been demonstrated mainly in two sections of the genus, Miltantha and Oxytona. The alkaloids of seven species (Papaver armeniacum, P. curviscapum, P. cylindricum, P. fugax, P. persicum, P. polychaetum, and P. triniifolium) of the section Miltantha have been studied, and the existence of chemical strains has been shown mainly in P. fugax, P. persicum, and P. triniifolium.
Investigations on the species of the section Oxytona indicated that there is a relationship between the major alkaloid content and the chromosome numbers of the samples.
Isolation of new secoberbine-type alkaloids as well as promorphinane- and morphinane-types has revealed the biosynthetic relationship between the alkaloids of Miltantha and Oxytona species. Chemical races are also known for species of Papaver within other sections of the genus.
P. lateritium of Turkish origin from section Pilosa yielded some secoberbine and protoberberine types, whereas P. rhopalothece of the section Rhoeadium contained narcotine as a major alkaloid. Isolation of spirobenzylisoquinoline type from P. argemone (sect. Argemonidium) was the first report of the occurrence of this type in the Papaveraceae.