Distinction and valorization of 30 root extracts of five goldenrod (Solidago) species.
A high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) method was developed for rapid and easy-to-perform discrimination between five goldenrod species present in Europe: the native Solidago virgaurea and the four invasive aliens, S. canadensis, S. gigantea, S. rugosa and S. graminifolia. The chemotaxonomic distinction was based on the chemical profile of their root extracts, confirmed by principal component analysis. This allowed the distinction of the goldenrods in wintertime, when classical morphological methods are not applicable. Their enzyme inhibitory profiles were determined by HPTLC combined with α-glucosidase, β-glucosidase, α-amylase, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) assays. Two compounds of S. canadensis showed the most intense enzyme inhibition in all assays, having also antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria and Aliivibrio fischeri strains. HPTLC-high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), bioassay-guided isolation, NMR spectroscopy and literature data led to the characterization and identification of the labdane diterpenes solidagenone and presolidagenone as the active S. canadensis root components. The previously identified polyacetylenes (2Z,8Z and 2E,8Z matricaria esters) of S. virgaurea, also inhibited all enzymes. Except for the known anti-AChE effect of the 2Z,8Z-matricaria ester, this is the first report on the α-glucosidase, β-glucosidase, α-amylase, AChE and BChE inhibitory activity of these potent compounds. The anti-hyperglycemic effects of the S. canadensis labdanoids were also observed for the first time. Combined with effect-directed assays and HRMS, hyphenated HPTLC allowed an effect-directed high-throughput screening and a fast characterization of multipotent compounds. The investigation of botanicals by fast, hyphenated, bioanalytical tools substantially increased the information gain with regard to active principles (bioprofiling) and efficiently pointed to potent candidates for drug development.