Pharmacological potential and conservation prospect of genus Eucomis (Hyacinthaceae) endemic to southern Africa.

Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa.
Journal of ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3). 11/2013; 151(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.002
Source: PubMed


The genus Eucomis (Hyacinthaceae) consists of 10 species that are extensively used in African traditional medicine.
An appraisal of current information on the distribution and morphology, traditional uses, pharmacology, toxicology and approaches devised to enhance the conservation of the genus.
A systematic and comprehensive literature search using electronic searches such as Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science and ethnobotanical books was conducted.
Evidence from traditional medicine usage shows wide utilization of this genus for ailments such as respiratory, venereal diseases, rheumatism, kidney and bladder infections. Pharmacological screening reported antimicrobial, antiplasmodial, antitumor, cytotoxic, phytotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties.
The potential of the genus Eucomis especially in terms of pharmacology cannot be overemphasized. Apart from the anti-inflammatory properties, the antifungal activity of Eucomis remains a valuable reservoir with potential application in the agriculture sector as a source of an affordable biocontrol agent. Extensive utilization of members of the genus Eucomis is causing severe strain on wild populations. Although conventional propagation has been relatively effective in the alleviation of the declining status, micropropagation of members may be vital to guarantee the conservation of wild populations.

25 Reads
    • "Eucomis autumnalis (Mill.) Chitt (family: Asparagaceae ) is a bulbous plant widely used in traditional medicine and as an ornamental (Masondo et al. 2014). The destructive harvesting of its bulbs for use in traditional medicine aggravated by increasing demands is certainly unsustainable, resulting in a 'declining' conservation status (Raimondo et al. 2009). "

    South African Journal of Botany 05/2015; 98:211. DOI:10.1016/j.sajb.2015.03.158 · 0.98 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The benefits and need for further research especially to optimize the PGR concentrations for shoot proliferation in Eucomis species have been highlighted (Ault 1995; Taylor and Van Staden 2001). The increasing horticultural and pharmacological value of E. autumnalis subspecies autumnalis which is causing severe strain on wild populations has necessitated the need for more research to ensure conservation (Masondo et al. 2014). As highlighted by these authors, availability of efficient micropropagation protocol is pertinent to fully explore and sustain the economic potential of Eucomis species. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Eucomis species is a valuable plant with both medicinal and horticultural potential. The current study evaluated the role of plant growth regulator (PGR) on growth, phytochemicals, and antioxidant activity in Eucomis autumnalis subspecies autumnalis. Five cytokinins including topolins and benzyladenine (BA) at 2 A mu M in combination with varying (0-15 A mu M) concentrations of naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) were tested. In vitro regenerants were acclimatized in the greenhouse for 4 months. Highest number of shoots (9 shoots/explant) was observed with 15 A mu M NAA alone or when combined with BA. Acclimatized plants derived from the 15 A mu M NAA treatment had the highest number of roots, largest leaf area and biggest bulbs. While applied PGRs increased the iridoids and condensed tannins in the in vitro regenerants, total phenolics and flavonoids were higher in the PGR-free treatment. Among the in vitro regenerants, 5 A mu M NAA and 2 A mu M BA treatments produced the best antioxidant activity in the DPPH (55 %) and beta-carotene (88 %) test systems, respectively. A remarkable carry-over effect of the PGR was conspicuous in the phytochemical levels and antioxidant activity of the 4-month-old plants. In addition to the optimized micropropagation protocols, the current findings present a promising potential for manipulating the type and concentration of applied PGRs to improve phytochemical production and hence medicinal value in E. autumnalis subspecies autumnalis.
    Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 09/2014; 36(9):2467-2479. DOI:10.1007/s11738-014-1619-4 · 1.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The therapeutic value of Eucomis species is well recognized in African traditional medicine. As a potential approach to improve growth and phytochemical content in Eucomis autumnalis subspecies autumnalis, the effect of agar (Bacteriological Agar No. 1 Oxoid) and gellan gum (GELRITE™) was evaluated using different explant sources and plant growth regulator (PGR) combinations. After 10 wk, the growth parameters were measured and phytochemical levels in 50% methanol (MeOH) extracts of the dried regenerated plantlets were determined using colorimetric methods. The highest mean shoot number (ca. 9 per explant) was observed in gellan gum-solidified media using a benzyladenine (BA) and α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) treatment. Regardless of the gelling agent or PGR applied, the (initial/primary) explant source (LDL = leaf explant derived from primary leaf regenerants and LDB = leaf explant derived from primary bulb regenerants) significantly influenced all the parameters with the exception of shoot length and number of bigger shoots (≥5 mm). In most cases, the regenerants from agar-solidified media contained higher levels of flavonoids and phenolics. In terms of PGRs, the BA + NAA treatment had the highest shoot proliferation (fourfold higher than PGR-free) and number of larger shoots in LDL (gellan gum) and LDB (agar and gellan gum) regenerants. Generally, the evaluated factors (gelling agent, explant source, and PGR) significantly affected the concentrations of all the phytochemicals with the exception of total phenolic content. Taken together, the current study justifies the need to fully evaluate the manner in which in vitro culture conditions/factors affect the overall outcome of micropropagation endeavors.
    In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Plant 02/2014; 51(1):102-110. DOI:10.1007/s11627-014-9646-9 · 0.98 Impact Factor
Show more