2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Analysis of Sesquiterpene Compounds in Echinacea purpurea
Ryan R. Wissmann
Dr. David McCurdy, Dr. Basil Nikolau (Iowa State University), and Dr. Ludmila Rizshsky (Iowa State University), Faculty Mentors

Echinacea has long been studied for its affects on improving the immune system against infection. Sesquiterpenes, which are typically cyclic hydrocarbons with the chemical formula C15H24, are some of the most abundant components found in E. purpurea. My research with the U.S. Department of Energy at Ames Laboratory revolved around mapping the sesquiterpenes in Echinacea. Two methods were used employed to remove the sesquiterpenes from the tissue; the first involved cutting the stem of the Echinacea plant and absorbing the resin, while the second method required different organs, such as the petals, stem, and leaves, to be ground into a powder. The powder was subjected to the same extraction method as the resin and the resulting samples were analyzed using high resolution analytical methods such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to not only determine abundance, but also identify the genes responsible for sesquiterpene production.

Keywords: Echinacea, analysis, spectrometric, extraction, sesquiterpenes, tissue

Topic(s):Chemistry

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 9-3
Location: GEO
Time: 3:30

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