Ellagic acid in maize

Ellagic acid is present in crude extracts of some of the maize stocks that we are analyzing. The stocks are of diverse origin, and we have not yet correlated the presence or absence of ellagic acid with any specific gene action. We have found it in several tissues, including anthers and pollen. It can be recognized on a chromatogram by its soft violet fluorescence in U.V., changing to very pale yellow on fuming with ammonia. Rf values are 0.27 in EtOH-HCOOH-H2O (10:2:3) and 0.0 in 15% HOAc. Ellagic acid is an important constituent of tannins, and Bate-Smith has reported that it is frequently present in acid hydrolysates of the leaves of dicotyledons (J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 58:95, 1962) but that it is not present in monocotyledons (J. Linn. Soc., Bot 60:325, 1968). Its presence in some maize tissue crude extracts is therefore quite interesting.

Oldriska Ceska

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