Pharmacological potential and conservation prospect of genus Eucomis (Hyacinthaceae) endemic to southern Africa.
ABSTRACT 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.
[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 · 1.52 Impact Factor