Correlation of mescaline concentrations in Lophophora williamsii (Cactaceae) with rib numbers and diameter of crown (U.S.A.)

  • Richard Newbold
  • Sohan De Silva
  • Martin Terry

Abstract

Lophophora williamsii, peyote, is a small cactus growing to approximately 10 cm in diameter with a flat to dome-shaped spineless crown with fissures or ribs that develop following the Fibonacci series and whose numbers indicate relative degree of maturing. In this study crown tissue of 30 wild-collected specimens was analyzed to determine whether there was a correlation between the concentration of the primary alkaloid mescaline in crown tissue with the average diameter of the crown. We also compared mescaline concentration in three groups of ten individuals: 5 ribs (juvenile stage), 8 ribs (intermediate), and 13 ribs (elder/mature stage), since these Fibonacci numbers are the most stable and long-lasting on L. williamsii. This was designed to test the hypothesis that there is a positive correlation between mescaline concentration and both diameter and rib number. Nine greenhouse-grown specimens were likewise analyzed to serve as a control group for the study. All 39 tissue samples were subjected to an alkaloid extraction procedure followed by an acid-base washing procedure. Mescaline was identified using liquid-chromatography and mass spectroscopy and then quantified using reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography. The Pearson’s Chi-squared test showed no statistical correlation between increasing mescaline concentration and increasing rib numbers for field-collected samples and greenhouse?raised control samples. Field-collected samples: P-value of 0.392; greenhouse control samples: P-value of 0.313. Similarly, field and greenhouse samples showed no statistical correlation between mescaline concentration and average diameter of the crown. Field-collected samples: P-value of 0.251; greenhouse control samples: P-value of 0.229. This study contributes to the understanding of this vulnerable species and to approaches to its overall conservation and the preservation of Native American culture.

References

Aljbory, Z. & M. Chen. 2018. Indirect plant defenses against insect herbivory: A review. Insect Sci. Applic. 25:2–23.

Amirkia, V. & M. Heinrich. 2014. Alkaloids as drug leads–A predictive structural and biodiversity-based analysis. Phytochem. Lett. 10:48–53.

Anderson, E.F. 1995. The “peyote gardens” of South Texas: A conservation crisis. Cact. Succ. J., Affil. Reporter 67:67–74.

Anderson, E.F. 1996. Peyote: The divine cactus. The University of Arizona Press, Phoenix, U.S.A. 2:1–204.

Bennett, R. & R. Wallsgrove. 1994. Secondary metabolites in plant defense mechanisms. New Phytol. 137:617–633.

Buchanan, B., W. Gruissen, & R. Jones. 2000. Biochemistry and molecular biology of plants: Chapter 24. Natural Products (secondary metabolites). Curr. Topics Pl. Physiol. 1250–1305.

Carod-Artal, F.J. & C.B. Vázquez-Cabrera. 2006. Mescaline and the San Pedro cactus ritual: Archaeological and ethnographic evidence in northern Peru. Revista de Neurologia 42:489–498.

Cipollini, M.L. & D.J. Levey. 1997. Secondary metabolites of fleshy vertebrate?dispersed fruits: Adaptive hypotheses and implications for seed dispersal. Amer. Naturalist 150:346–372.

Correll, D.S. & M.C. Johnston. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Texas Research Foundation, Renner, U.S.A.

Crozier, A., M.N. Cliford, & H. Ashihara. 2006. Plant secondary metabolites: Occurrence, structure and role in the human diet. Wiley-Blackfield, Oxford, U.K. 4.1–200.

Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice. 2017. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Section 1301.11.

Freeman, B.C. & G.A. Beattie. 2008. An overview of plant defenses against pathogens and herbivores. The Plant Health Instructor 10:1094

Gibson, A. & P. Nobel. 1986. The cactus primer. Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 140–145.

Gimenez, E., M. Salinas, & F. Manzano-Agugliaro. 2018. Worldwide research on plant defense against biotic stresses as improvement for sustainable agriculture. Sustainability 10:1–19.

Hahn, P.G., A.A. Agrawal, K.I. Sussman, & J.L. Maron. 2019. Population environmental gradients, and the evolutionary ecology of plant defense against herbivory. Amer. Naturalist 193:20–31.

Hesse, M. 2002. Alkaloids: Nature’s Cure or Blessing? Wiley-VCH, Zürich, Switzerland.

Hulsey, D., P. Daley, N. Fowler, M. Kalam, & M. Terry. 2011. Clinal geographic variation in mescaline concentration among Texas populations of Lophophora williamsii (Cactaceae). J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 5:677–683.

Huxley, A. 1952. The doors of perception. Mental. 98:2–24.

Ibarra-Laclette, E., F. Zamudio-Hernández, C. Pérez-Torres, V.A. Albert, E. Ramírez-Chávez, J. Molina-Torres, A. Fernández-Cortes, C. Calderón-Vázquez, J.L. Olivares-Romero, A. Herrera-Estrella, & L. Herrera-Estrella. 2015. De novo sequencing and analysis of Lophophora williamsii transcriptome, and searching for putative genes involved in mescaline biosynthesis. B. M. C. Genomics 16:1–14.

International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN]. 2013. Lophophora williamsii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T151962A581420.en. Accessed August 2018.

Kalam, M.A., M.T. Klein, D. Hulsey, K. Trout, P. Daley, & M. Terry. 2013. Mescaline concentrations in small regrowth crowns vs. mature adult crowns of Lophophora williamsii (Cactaceae): Cultural, economic, and conservation implications. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 7:435–440.

Klein, M., M. Kalam, K. Trout, N. Fowler, & M. Terry. 2015. Mescaline concentration in three principal tissues of Lophophora williamsii (Cactaceae): Implications for sustainable harvesting practices. Haseltonia 20:34–42.

Kulma, A. & J. Szopa. 2007. Catecholamines are active compounds in plants. Pl. Sci. 172:433–440.

Lundström, J. 1971. Biosynthesis of mescaline and tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids in Lophophora williamsii (Lem.) Coult. Occurrence and bio-synthesis of catecholamine and other intermediates. Acta Chem. Scand. 25:3489–3499.

Lundström, J. 1972. Identification of new peyote alkaloids; isomers of the main phenolic tetrahydroisoquinolines. Acta Chem. Scand. 26:1295–1297.

McKey, D. 1974. Adaptive patterns in alkaloid physiology. Amer. Naturalist108:305–314.

Schaefer, B. 2015. Natural products in the chemical industry. Springer, Berlin & Heidelberg, Germany. 2:276.

Rosengarten, H. & A.J. Friedhoff. 1976. A review of recent studies of the biosynthesis and excretion of hallucinogens formed by methylation of neurotransmitters or related substances. Schizophrenia Bull. 2:1–90.

Rosenberg, H. & S.J. Stohs. 1974. The utilization of tyrosine for mescaline and protein biosynthesis in Lophophora williamsii. Phytochemistry 13:1861–1863.

Terry, M. & J.D. Mauseth. 2006. Root-shoot anatomy and post-harvest vegetative clonal development in Lopophora williamsii (Cactaceae: Cactaeae): Implications for conservation. Sida 22:565–592.

Terry, M., K. Trout, B. Williams, T. Herrera, & N. Fowler. 2011. Limitations to natural production of Lophophora williamsii (Cactaceae). I. Regrowth and survivorship two years post-harvest in a South Texas population. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 5:661–675.

Terry, M, K. Trout, B. Williams, T. Herrera, & N. Fowler. 2012. Limitations to natural production of Lophophora williamsii (Cactaceae). Effects of repeated harvesting at two-year intervals in a South Texas population. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 6:567–577.

Terry, M. 2013. Lophophora williamsii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013 Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.20131.RLTS.T151962A581420.en. Accessed March 17.

Trout, K. 2014. Cactus chemistry by species. Mydriatic Productions, U.S.A. 1:37–40.

Trout, K. 2016. Peyote sales reported 1986–2016. Cactus Conservation Institute. Available at https://cactusconservation.org/blog/2018/11/28/peyote-sales-reported-1986-2016/. Accessed October 2019.

TPWD. 2016. Texas land owners earn lone star land steward awards for conservation efforts. Available at http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20160420a. Accessed March 2017.

Tuller, J., R.J. Marquis, S.M. Andrade, A.B. Montelro, & L. Farla. 2018. Trade-offs between growth, reproduction and defense in response to resource availability manipulations. PLOS ONE 13:1–12.

Walsh, C.J. 2017. Plant alkaloids and terpenoids in chemotherapy. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health. Salen Press, Hackensack, New Jersey, U.S.A. 1:1–6.

Wink, M. 2003. Evolution of secondary metabolites from an ecological and molecular phylogenetic perspective. Phytochemistry 64:3–19.

Published
2020-07-15
How to Cite
Newbold, R., De Silva, S., & Terry, M. (2020). Correlation of mescaline concentrations in Lophophora williamsii (Cactaceae) with rib numbers and diameter of crown (U.S.A.). Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 14(1), 103-120. https://doi.org/10.17348/jbrit.v14.i1.901