Photochemical alteration of 3-oxygenated triterpenoids: Implications for the origin of 3,4-seco-triterpenoids in sediments
The reactivity of higher plant derived 3-oxy-triterpenoids to sunlight was investigated using a series of pure reference standards both under simulated and real solar exposure. The majority of the exposed compounds showed reactivity to light, particularly to simulated sunlight and among others generated seco-derivatives. While photochemical processes have been suggested for the formation of such compounds, their abundances in some sediments have often been assumed to be the result of diagenetic reworking of parent triterpenoids. Analyses of mangrove leaf waxes, an important known source of taraxerol in coastal ecosystems, showed the presence of the 3,4-seco-derivative dihydrolacunosic acid, which could represent an important biotic source for des-A-triterpenoid precursors to such sediments, and is unrelated to aquatic organic matter diagenesis.
Simoneit, B.R.T., Y. Xu, R. Neto, J. Cloutier, R. Jaffe. 2009. Photochemical alteration of 3-oxygenated triterpenoids: Implications for the origin of 3,4-seco-triterpenoids in sediments. Chemosphere 74: 543-550.