Key Laboratory of Chemistry of Northwestern Plant Resources and Key Laboratory for Natural Medicine of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, 730000, P. R. China
Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100039, P. R. China
A simple and rapid method, using online ultraperformance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (UPLC-PDA-eλ-ESI-MS/MS), was developed for the in-depth analysis of 50 batches Radix et Rhizoma Rhei. The analysis was performed on a UPLC BEH C18 column using a gradient elution system. Baseline separation could be achieved in less than 7.5 min. At the same time, on the basis of the 50 batches of samples collected from representative cultivated regions, a novel chromatographic fingerprint was devised by UPLC-PDA, in which 27 common peaks were detected and identified by the developed UPLC-MS/MS method step by step according to fragmentation mechanisms, MS/MS data, standards, and relevant literature. Many active components gave prominent [M - H]− ions in the ESI mass spectra. These components include anthraquinones, sennosides, stilbenes, glucose gallates, naphthalenes, and catechins. Furthermore, based on the information of these Radix et Rhizoma Rhei components, and further combined with discriminant analysis, a novel discriminant analysis equation (DAE) was established for the quality control of Radix et Rhizoma Rhei for the first time.