Variability of Hypericins and Hyperforin in Hypericum Species from the Sicilian Flora

Alessandra Carrubba, Silvia Lazzara, Edoardo Napoli, Silvia Lazzara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Within Sicilian flora, the genus Hypericum (Guttiferae) includes 10 native species, the most popular of which is H. perforatum. Hypericum’s most investigated active compounds belong to naphtodianthrones (hypericin, pseudohypericin) and phloroglucinols (hyperforin, adhyperforin), and the commercial value of the drug is graded according to its total hypericin content. Ethnobotanical sources attribute the therapeutic properties recognized for H. perforatum, also to other Hypericum species. However, their smaller distribution inside the territory suggests that an industrial use of such species, when collected from the wild, would result in an unacceptable depletion of their natural stands. This study investigated about the potential pharmacological properties of 48 accessions from six native species of Hypericum, including H. perforatum and five ‘minor’ species, also comparing, when possible, wild and cultivated sources. The variability in the content of active metabolites was remarkably high, and the differences within the species were often comparable to the differences among species. No difference was enlightened between wild and cultivated plants. A carefully planned cultivation of Hypericum seems the best option to achieve high and steady biomass yields, but there is a need for phytochemical studies, aimed to identify for multiplication the genotypes with the highest content of the active metabolites.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology

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