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Viljoen, A.M., Van Wyk, B-E., Newton, L.E. 2001. The occurrence and taxonomic distribution of the anthrones aloin, aloinoside and microdontin in Aloe. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 29: 53–67.

A chemotaxonomic survey of 380 species of Aloe indicated the presence of the anthrone isomers aloin A and B together with the aloinoside isomers and microdontin A and B in 36 (10%) species of Aloe. This group, referred to as the microdontin chemotype, is thus characterised by a combination of exudate compounds and not merely a single phytochemical marker, implying taxonomic significance of leaf exudate compounds. The 36 representatives of the group occupy disparate taxonomic positions in the largely artificial hierarchy of the present classification system. Although many of the species have previously been considered as related (based on macromorphology only), a large number of species have not been associated with one another before. The chemical profiles and leaf exudate compositions of the species are presented, followed by a brief summary of the morphological diversity. Whilst conceding the possibility of convergent evolution, the geographical distribution of the species and thoughts on possible relationships between the taxa are discussed.

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