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3D Imaging and metabolomic profiling reveal higher neuroactive kavalactone contents in lateral roots and crown root peels of Piper methysticum (kava)

: Jaiswal, Y.S.; Yerke, A.M.; Bagley, M.C.; Ekelöf, M.; Weber, D.; Haddad, D.; Fodor, A.; Muddiman, D.C.; Williams, L.L.

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GigaScience 9 (2020), Nr.9, S.1-13
ISSN: 2047-217X
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IIS ()

Background: Kava is an important neuroactive medicinal plant. While kava has a large global consumer footprint for its clinical and recreational use, factors related to its use lack standardization and the tissue-specific metabolite profile of its neuroactive constituents is not well understood. Results: Here we characterized the metabolomic profile and spatio-temporal characteristics of tissues from the roots and stems using cross-platform metabolomics and a 3D imaging approach. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed the highest content of kavalactones in crown root peels and lateral roots. Infrared matrix-assisted laser desorption electrospray ionization (IR-MALDESI) imaging revealed a unique tissue-specific presence of each target kavalactone. X-ray micro-computed tomography analysis demonstrated that lateral roots have morphological characteristics suitable for synthesis of the highest content of kavalactones. Conclusions: These results provide mechanistic insights into the social and clinical practice of the use of only peeled roots by linking specific tissue characteristics to concentrations of neuroactive compounds.