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Rapid Detection of Nicotine

In: Miscellaneous

Submitted By wiwid
Words 1728
Pages 7
No. 6



Department of Botany and Institute of Polar Studies, and Department of Microbiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 4S210

ABSTRACT A rapid and sensitive method for detecting alkaloids, in particular nicotine, from Nicotiana rustica tobacco seedlings up to 2 mm in length has been developed. Growing tissue is applied (squashed) directly onto silica gel plates for thin-layer chromotographic analysis. The sensitivity of this method permits the detection of quantities of nicotine as small as 0.4 microgram. INTRODUCTION

During the course of our study on the chemical patterns of plant growth and development (Peters et al., 1972), it was necessary to use rapid procedures to analyze chemical contents of growing tissues. The present study deals with the development of a procedure for the rapid detection of the alkaloids. The histochemical detection of alkaloids in growing tissues, as demonstrated by others (Chaze, 1932; James, 1950), is based on the reaction with iodine in potassium iodide solution. These methods are complicated by the presence of carbohydrates and proteins, which also react positively to iodine in potassium iodide solution. James (1946) was able to overcome the difficulty of liberating alkaloids from denatured proteins by blotting the tissue on filter paper prior to other treatment; however, the blotting procedure results in partial loss of cellular alkaloid content. A tedious solvent extraction procedure followed by thin-layer chromatography has been used by Speake et al. (1964). Other workers have used the reliable but time-consuming steam-distillation extraction technique (Solt, 1957; Brown and Byerrum, 1952). This paper describes an improved procedure whereby tobacco...

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