The genus of Lonicera L., commonly referred to as honeysuckle, has ≈180 species of deciduous or evergreen, bushy, candent, twining, or creeping shrubs distributed in Asia, Europe, and North America (Huxley, 1992). Dried flowers and buds of honeysuckles are known as “Jinyinhua” in Chinese or flos lonicerae, which is one of the most popular herbs of traditional Chinese medicine (Shang et al., 2011). Flos lonicerae contains a series of compounds including essential oils, organic acids, flavones, saponins, and iridoids (Lee et al., 1998; Palacios et al., 2002). Because of the variation among species and even cultivars in the chemical compounds, the Chinese Pharmacopoeia (Committee for the Pharmacopoeia of PR China, 2010) has used the content of 5-O-caffeoyl-quinic acid or chlorogenic acid (CGA) as the indicator compound for the evaluation of the quality of flos lonicerae (Shang et al., 2011). CGA has been reported to suppress N-nitrosating reactions and inhibit hepatic glucose 6-phosphatase, which is a significant factor in the abnormal diabetic state (Arion et al., 1997; Yang et al., 2004). CGA also has strong antiviral activity against adeno-associated 3 and 7 viruses, coxsackie B3 and B5 viruses, and respiratory syncytia virus (Hu et al., 2001).
As a result of the increasing recognition of its pharmaceutical value, there have been increasing activities in the selection and production of honeysuckle plants with high CGA content in China (Wang et al., 2004, 2009; Yuan et al., 2012). Lonicera macranthoides Hands.-Mazz. is a species native to China (Xu and Wang, 1988) and has been found to contain CGA concentrations up to 4.5% compared with commonly used L. japonica L. with a range from 2.2% to 2.5% (Zhou and Tong, 2003). Wang et al. (2004) isolated three naturally occurring mutants: ‘Jincuilei’, ‘Yincuilei’, and ‘Baiyun’ of L. macranthoides from Hunan Province, China, which had CGA contents of 5.92%, 5.83%, and 6.97%, respectively, compared with 4.33% in their parental plants. Here we report ‘Longhua’, another selection from Lonicera macranthoides.
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