Hippophae salicifolia D. Don, belonging to Elaeagnaceae family, exhibits dioecy and is extensively used for multipurpose due to its medicinal and nutraceutical potential. Although several research works have been carried out on the plant, no information is available regarding the impact of its dioecious nature on its phytochemicals and subsequent pharmacological properties. The present study is aimed at development of a high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) method that is specific and reliable for the estimation of a marker compound gallic acid in both female and male counterparts of this dioecious plant, thus evaluating gender impact on chemical profile of the plant. For each sample, an ethyl acetate fraction of the hydrolyzed hydroalcoholic extract of H. salicifolia was prepared and applied on pre-coated plates of silica gel G 60F254. After developing the plate in the solvent system, toluene:ethyl acetate:formic acid (5:4:1, v/v/v), the identification and estimation was carried out by densitometric scanning at 270 nm. The presence of gallic acid was confirmed by UV overlay of the spot resolving in test tracks with that of reference standard. The results suggested quantitative variation of the marker compound in female and male plants, indicating a clear gender bias. The proposed validated HPTLC method is simple, yet specific and accurate and would contribute to the quality assessment of H. salicifolia.
Key words: Dioecy, gallic acid, HPTLC, Hippophae salicifolia, validation.