CACTACEAE ISOLATION OF CANDICINE FROM TRICHOCEREUS CHILENSIS
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Trichocereus chilensis (Colla) Br. & R. is the only Chilean member of its genus figuring in the literature as having been examined for alkaloids, although previous reports are negative. Djerassi and coworkers1 found no alkaloids in this cactus. AgureIl,2 who specifies that no attempt was made to detect quaternary bases and discusses the sensitivity of his methods for non-quaternary amines, also reports no alkaloids in detectable amounts in T. chilensis. In the present communication we wish to report on the presence of both quaternary and nonquaternary bases in this species. Due to extremely low yields, only candicine was isolated and identified as its iodide, following CastrilIón's method.3 TLC of the chloroform-soluble material, containing large amounts of non-alkaloidal substances, showed five Dragendorff-positive spots; the separation and structural assignment of these alkaloids is now being attempted. The candicine iodide was analyzed for C, H and N, and both its analysis and its m.p. are in fuIl accordance with Reti's data.4 Mixed m.p. with an authentic sample and comparison of the IR spectra confirmed our identification.