Comparative analysis of sixteen flavonoids from different parts ofSophora flavescensAit. by ultra high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

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Graphical abstractHighlightsUPLC–MS/MS method was developed for simultaneous determination of sixteen flavonoids.The method was applied in determination of five types of flavonoids in S. flavescens.The flavonoids showed remarkable differences among the five organs of S. flavescens.The root of Sophora flavescens Ait. has long been used as a crude drug in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years. The quinolizidine alkaloids and flavonoids are considered as the main bioactive components in this plant. To determine the distribution and content of the flavonoids in different organs of this plant, a rapid, sensitive and reproducible method was established using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a triple quadrupole electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. A total of sixteen flavonoids including five different types (isoflavones, pterocarpans, flavones, flavonols and prenylflavonoids) were simultaneously determined in 10 min. The established method was fully validated in terms of linearity, sensitivity, precision, repeatability as well as recovery and successfully applied in the methanolic extracts of S. flavescens parts (root, stem, leaf, pod and seed). The analysis results indicated that the distribution and contents of different type of flavonoids showed remarkable differences among the five organs of S. flavescens. This study might be useful for the rational utilization of S. flavescens resource.

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