Natural polyisoprene is a biopolymer consisting of isoprene units (C 5H8) that is used commercially in household, medical, and industrial materials. For the management of natural polyisoprene production, the selection of high-yield polyisoprene-producing trees, and an understanding of polyisoprene biosynthesis, a high-throughput and highly sensitive screening method for the quantification of polyisoprene is required. In this study, we examined pyrolysates from polyisoprenes, polyprenols, carotenoids, ubiquinone (CoQ-10), and sterols by pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (PyGC/MS) and determined that the amounts of isoprene and limonene released from polyprenols and polyisoprenes were dependent upon their molecular weights. Based on these results, we developed a relative quantification method for polyisoprene in leaves by direct analysis of 1 mg of leaves using PyGC/MS. This novel quantification method eliminated extraction steps and can be used in the measurement of polyisoprene contents in Eucommia ulmoides and Hevea brasiliensis.
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