Amino acids composition of Teucrium nutlet proteins and their systematic significance

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:R. Juan, Pastor, J., Millán, F., Alaiz, M., Vioque, J.
Journal:Annals of Botany
Date Published:Oct
Keywords:Amino Acids, Amino Acids: Essential, Evolution: Molecular, Fruit, Nutritive Value, Phylogeny, Plant Proteins, Species Specificity, Teucrium

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Plant species are considered as a good source of dietary proteins, although the nutritional quality of proteins depends on their amino acid composition. In this work the protein content and amino acid composition of nutlets of 21 Teucrium taxa (Lamiaceae) from Spain were analysed and their nutritional quality was compared with the minimum values established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In addition, the amino acid composition was evaluated as a chemical character to clarify the taxonomic complexity in this genus. METHODS: Amino acid content of nutlets was determined after derivatization with diethyl ethoxymethylenemalonate by high-performance liquid chromatography. Previously, nutlets samples were hydrolysed and incubated in an oven at 110 degrees C for 24 h. KEY RESULTS: The protein content was variable, ranging from 6.4 % in T. dunense to 43.8 % in T. algarbiense. According to the FAO values all taxa contain satisfactory amounts of leucine, threonine and valine and are deficient in lysine. The similarity analysis of Teucrium taxa using amino acid composition data did not clearly reflect the infrageneric classification of this genus. CONCLUSIONS: Annual species, such as T. spinosum, T. aristatum and T. resupinatum showed a better balanced amino acid composition. The dendrogram partly matched with the karyological complexity of Teucrium. No correlation between amino acid composition and habitat has been observed, showing that Teucrium nutlet amino acid composition may not be strongly influenced by the environment.

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