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Selective pressurized liquid extraction of plant secondary metabolites: Convallaria majalis L. as a case
Analytica Chimica Acta: X  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-03-01, DOI: 10.1016/j.acax.2020.100040
Xiaomeng Liang, Nikoline Juul Nielsen, Jan H. Christensen

A fast and efficient selective pressurized liquid extraction (sPLE) method was developed to extract secondary metabolites from complex plant matrix. Convallaria majalis L., a plant producing toxic steroids, was used as proof-of-concept. The method was optimized in the aspects of preheating, dispersant, extraction temperature and solvent, and the use of C18 as in-cell cleanup sorbent. Eight authentic natural steroids with diverse sugar moieties and hydrophobicities were selected as reference analytes and spiked to 0.1 g dried leaves. The extraction performance was evaluated based on the analytes’ stability, recovery, matrix effect in the electrospray interface and the level of co-extractives. With the optimal method, the extraction was finished in 10 min. A colorless extract was obtained with recoveries ranging from 63% to 107% and absolute matrix effects ranging from 3% to 27%. The optimized method was validated by extracting 0.1 g, 0.2 g and 0.4 g spiked plant samples; method accuracy and precision were assessed by recoveries and relative standard deviations of the combined extraction-analysis workflow. The method was also tested on soil samples and indicated its suitability for measuring secondary metabolites in multiple environmental matrices. To our knowledge, this is the first time sPLE has been reported to extract plant secondary metabolites from a complex plant matrix, with satisfactory recoveries and low matrix effects. This is also the first time (s)PLE has been reported to extract plant secondary metabolites from soil. We envision the method be coupled with liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-high resolution mass spectrometry in a standard metabolomics workflow to facilitate plant metabolomics studies.