Secondary metaβolites in Cortinarius infractus and Cortinarius subtortus were analyzed by using supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) with multiple detectors. Cortinarius infractus (Pers.: Fr.) Fr. and C. subtortus (Pers.: Fr.) Fr. (brown spored mushrooms in Agaricales, Basidiomycota) are characterized by an overall olivaceous color on the basidiocarp, globose to subglobose spores, and a slightly bitter taste, which may possibly be related to the presence of the bitter indole alkaloid infractopicrine. Both species belong to the subgenus Phlegmacium, following the traditional infrageneric systematic classification of Cortinarius. There is a dispute in the literature over whether they belong to one section (Amarescens Mos.) or two (Infracti Kühn. & Romagn. ex Brandrud and Subtorti Brandrud & Melot). A study comparing the chemical composition of indole alkaloids in the basidiocarps of C. infractus and C. subtortus by supercritical fluid chromatography–corona-charged aerosol detector–mass spectrometry (SFC–corona CAD–MS) and supercritical fluid chromatography–UV-mass spectrometry (SFC–UV-MS) was performed. Cortinarius infractus was found to contain the alkaloid substances of the β-carboline-1-propionic acid group (β-carboline-1-propionic acid, 6-hydroxy-β-carboline-1-propionic acid and infractopicrine). However, no such substances were found in C. subtortus. The placement of C. infractus and C. subtortus in two different sections is therefore supported by chemotaxonomy. The fingerprinting was performed by SFC connected to a multidetector system in the combinations of SFC–corona (CAD)–MS and SFC–UV-MS. In many publications, the corona CAD was defined as a universal detector for HPLC. The use of the corona-charged aerosol detector in conjunction with SFC is an innovative and promising development in the detection of secondary metabolites in chemotaxonomy.
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