Vol. 7(20), pp. 1511-1514, 25 May, 2013
ISSN 1996-0875 © 2013 Academic Journals
Journal of Medicinal Plants Research
Full Length Research Paper
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
analysis of the crude alkaloid extract of Ziziphus
mauritiana Lam., grown in Algerian
Elyacout Chebouat1, Belkhir Dadamoussa1, Azeddine Kabouche2, Messaouda Allaoui1,
Messaoud Gouamid1, Abdelkrim cheriti3 and Noureddine Gherraf2*
1Kasdi Merbah University, Ouargla 30000, Algeria.
2Process Engineering Department, Larbi ben M’hidi University, Oum Elbouaghi 04000, Algeria.
3Phytochemistry and Organic Synthesis Laboratory, University of Bechar , Bechar 08000, Algeria.
Accepted 5 May, 2013
The identification of the crude alkaloid extract of the Algerian Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. was carried out
using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. The identified ten alkaloids seem to
be reported for the first time in this plant species.
Key words: Rhamnaceae, alkaloids, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS), Ziziphus mauritiana.
Jujube (Ziziphus spp.) belongs to the Rhamnaceae family
and involves approximately 40 species. Jujube is
overspread mainly in tropical and subtropical parts of the
world (Mukhtar et al., 2004). Ziziphus mauritiana and
Ziziphus jujuba are cultivated deliberately in many parts
of the world for economic purpose. Jujube fruits are
consumed fresh dried, and processed (jams, loaf, cakes,
jelly, etc.) throughout the world (Pareek, 2002). The
jujube fruits exhibit high sugar content and high levels of
vitamins A, C and B complexes, in addition to
phosphorus and calcium (Pareek, 2002). Fruits, leaves,
seeds, roots and bark of jujube have been commonly
used as a source of simple remedies in folk medicine
(Belford, 1994). Flowers of Chinese jujube have been
reported to contain high-quality nectar, and the leaves
are consumed as tea (Zhao et al., 2008). Alkaloids,
flavonoids, sterols, tannins, saponins, and fatty acids
have been detected in many species of the genus
Ziziphus (Croueour et al., 2002). Some phenolics, such
as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, catechin, epicatechin
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
and rutin, were isolated from jujube fruit (Croueour et al.,
2002). Phenolics play a major physiological role in fruit,
especially in resistance to various stress factors, and in
fruit quality. In addition, phenolic compounds have
significant levels of antioxidant activity and are free
radical scavengers (Li et al., 2005). Moreover, the
phytochemicals used in the treatment of diabetes are
generally polysaccharides, including mucilages and
glycans (Perez et al., 1998).
As far as Z. mauritiana is concerned, it was reported
that the leaves can be used as healing, hemostatic,
antiseptic, stimulant, tonic, anti-diarrhea (Malgras, 1992)
and diabetes agents (Yansambou, 2002). Various
activities of the plant have been confirmed (Fortin et al.,
1997): antiscorbutic, anti-inflammatory,
emollient, hypotensive and sedative. Some anti-
isolated from the leaves of Z. mauritiana(Yamada et al.,
1985). Previous phytochemical studies reported that
seven cyclopeptide alkaloids were isolated from root
1512 J. Med. Plants Res.
Table 1. Alkaloids of Ziziphus mauritiana.
Methyl 3-propionamidobenzoate (8)
barks of Z. mauritiana (Yamada et al., 1985). Gas-
proved to be a suitable method to investigate
complex mixtures of different alkaloid groups
(Kreh et al., 1995). In order to increase the
volatility of the alkaloids and make them suitable
for GC/MS investigation, the alkaloid mixtures can
be silylated before analyses, but the spectra
obtained gave limited information (Wink et al.,
1983). Much more informative appeared to be the
spectra of underivatized alkaloids. There are only
a few reports on GC/MS of underivatized alkaloid
mixtures from Rhamnaceae plants which showed
that the alkaloids retain their characteristic
lectronic impact mass spectrometry (EIMS)
fragmentation pattern under GC/MS conditions
(Wink et al., 1983).
In the present report, the alkaloid composition of
Ziziphus mauritiana plant from South Algeria
(Ouargla city) has been carried out using GC/MS
analysis of the alkaloid fractions from leaves,
flowers, fruits, stump, twigs and roots. To the best
of our knowledge no studies have been reported
dealing with alkaloid composition of Ziziphus
mauritiana from Algeria Southern part.
Roots and flowers
159, 160, 161, 144, 129, 116, 89, 63, 28
215, 216, 217, 187, 172, 96, 92, 91, 43
181, 182, 153, 113, 69, 56
122, 123, 124, 81, 54, 39
167, 119, 44
215, 72, 32, 28
284, 208, 207
207, 208, 209, 148, 28
181, 182, 183, 153, 113, 69
374, 376, 181, 165
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Samples of Z. mauritiana were collected in September,
2011 from Ouargla Algeria. A voucher specimen was kept
at the Herbarium of VPRS Laboratory, University of
Ouargla, under the code Number CE 7.
Isolation of the alkaloid fractions
Dry powder plant parts were dampened with a weak base
(ammonia 25% NH4OH) which leads to the liberation of
alkaloids from their salts. Then, the samples were
extracted with chloroform (3×). After filtration, the organic
extracts containing alkaloids
concentrated in a rotary evaporator, acidified with 3%
sulfuric acid to reach a pH of 1 to 2 and defatted with
chloroform (3×). After that, the acidic aqueous phase was
alkalized with 25% NH4OH to pH = 9 and the alkaloids
were extracted three times with chloroform. The chloroform
extracts were combined, dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and
than evaporated. The residues obtained were dissolved in
methanol and subjected to GC/MS analysis.
The GC/MS were recorded on a Hewlett Packard
and impurities were
5890/MSD 5972A instrument operating in EI mode at 70
eV. A HP5 MS column (30 m × 0.25 mm × 0.25 µm) was
used. The temperature program was 80 to 280°C at 10°C
min-1 and held for 10 min at 280°C. The injector
temperature was 280°C. The flow rate of carrier gas (He)
was 0.8 ml min-1. The identification of the alkaloids was
confirmed by comparing the mass spectral data with those
of authentic compounds and with data obtained from the
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
We investigated the alkaloid composition of
leaves, flowers, fruits, stump, twigs and roots of Z.
mauritiana so as to highlight the presence of
biologically active alkaloids in different tissues and
to confirm the traditional use of the plant in folk
medicine. Ten compounds were identified and to
the best of our knowledge they are reported for
the first time in Z. mauritiana (Table 1 and Figure
1). Alkaloids are: (1) 4-methoxyquinoline, (2) N-
Chebouat et al. 1513
Figure 1. Structures of alkaloids identified in Ziziphus mauritiana. Alkaloids were generally
present in trace amounts in the alkaloid mixtures extracted from plants and it seems that
the most effective method for their identification is GC/MS rather than the ordinary
separation. In the study at hand, the crude extract of alkaloids has undergone GC/MS
analysis to yield ten alkaloids whose characteristic mass spectral fragmentations are listed
in Table I.
2(methylamino)ethyl)phenol, (6) 3-fluoro-4-(1-hydroxy-2-
(isopropylamino)ethyl)benzene-1,2diol, (7) 1,4-diphenyl-
propionamidobenzoate, (9) 9-amino-1-methyl-1H-purine-
2,6(8H,9H)-dione, (10) (2-(4-amino-2-methylphenyl)-7-
Taking into account the complexity of the alkaloid
fractions is the method of choice for a rapid analysis
which requires minimum of plant material and allows the
identification of numerous compounds, some of them of
mauritiana alkaloids afforded ten alkaloids which confirm
the use of the plant in healing many ailments and incite
further investigations seeking natural bioactive products.
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