Variability And Correlation Studies In Basil, Scent Leaf (Ocimum Gratissimum)
Ocimumgratissimum is a herbaceous perennial shrub notably found in the tropics and sub tropical countries. It is an important part of the traditional system of medicine in many countries which is used in the treatment of various ailments. Leaves of seven accessions of Ocimumgratissinum collected from Nigeria was analyzed for proximate, minerals and phytochemical constituents with a view of ascertaining if there are variations in these accessions and if there are to determine the heritable and non-heritable components and estimate the heritability and genetic advance expected.
All the determinants were carried out in triplicates. Analysis of variance showed that all the proximate, mineral, Vitamin C and Phytochemical were highly significant (P<0.01) except magnesium that was not significant. The result showed that Ocimumgratissinum is a good source of essential nutrients, minerals and Vitamin C. Considerable variability exists among the accessions as shown by PCA and genetic component analysis and there exists room for improvement of the nutritional and phytochemical traits in this all important herb and spice and increase its availability to the vast majority of the people that rely on its as a source of food and medicine.
Table Of Contents
- Title page
- Certification page
- Table of content
- 1.1 Background of the study
- 1.2 Statement of the problem
- 1.3 Significance / Justification of the study
- 1.4 Aim and objective of the study
- 2.1. Description of Ocimumgratissimum
- 2.2 Published pharmacological properties of O. gratissimum
- 2.3 Cytotoxic activity
Materials And Methods
- 3.1 Methods
- 3.2 Data collection
- 3.3 Proximate analysis
- 3.4 Mineral and Vitamin C analysis
- 3.5 Phytochemical analysis
- 3.6 Data analysis
Results And Discussion
Conclusion And Recommendations
- 5.1 Conclusion
- 5.2 Recommendations
1.1 Background of the study
In Nigeria and other African countries, indigenous people use many plants as food and medicine. Such plants have a variety of compounds which are of medicinal and nutritive importance; they are used as spices, food or medicine (Edeoga and Eriata, 2001; Edeogaet al. 2003; Osuagwu and Nwosu, 2006; Osuagwu, 2008 and Osuagwuet al. 2010). These plants have been shown to contain bioactive compounds that exhibit physiological activities against bacteria and other microorganisms and are also used as precursors for the synthesis of useful drugs (Okwu, 2001; Sofowora, 1993).
The genus OcimumL. belongs to the family Lamianaceae which comprises 30 species found in tropical and Sub-tropical regions. They are rich in essential oils and many species are grown by indigenous people as medicinal plants, culinary herbs and insect controlling agents (Marottiet al.1996). Ocimumgratissinumis a shrub, 1-2m tall; anthropogenic of village areas, not found in the wild. The plant is common in West Africa and generally wide spread in tropical Africa (Burkill, 1995). The leaves are broadly to narrow orate, usually 513cm long and 3-9 cm wide. The flowers are gamopetalous and zygomorphic and exist in whorled and panicled inflorescence. The fruits of nutlets are subglose, 1.5-2mm diameter and slightly rugose (Waneret al.1999).
African basil (Ocimumgratissimum L, Lamiaceae) is a small herbaceous, multi-purpose plant with a slightly woody base which can withstand periods of soil moisture stress. It is found in human settlements in deciduous forests and savannah regions of the tropics and sub-tropics of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Usually cultivated (rarely found in the wild) for its ethno-medicinal and culinary values, the plant is conventionally propagated through seeds and the seedling progeny show variability due to the crosspollinating nature of the plant (Heywood, 1978). Commonly identified as a food spice and traditional herb, the leaves of the plant are in high demand and have been used extensively in the north eastern part of Brazil (Rabeloet al., 2003) and Nigeria for the treatment of various diseases as well as for culinary purposes.
Fresh leaves of O. gratissimumare rich in essential oils and are used as condiments in several traditional West African cuisines. The leaves are also commonly used in Nigerian folk medicine for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections, skin diseases, opthalmia, headache, pneumonia and diarrhoea (Sofowora, 1993; Junaidet al., 2006), especially for people living with the dreaded human immunodeficiency virus (Elujoba, 2000), and for treatment of sunstroke and influenza in India. The plant is also known for its anti-inflammatory activity (Prajapatiet al., 2003), antibacterial properties against Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Listeria monocytogenes (Mbata and Saikia, 2005) and antifungal activity against Candida albicans(Nweze and Eze, 2009).
Other common attributes of O. gratissimum reported up until now include reduction of weight and suppression of haemopoietic system in rabbits fed with leaf extracts (Effraimet al., 2003), reversal of hepatotoxicity and increased hypoglycaemic activity in rats (Aguiyiet al., 2000), improvement of haematological and biochemical indices in adult rabbits (Obianimeet al., 2011; Oparaet al., 2011), use in the management of nephropathies and as a therapeutic adjuvant in cisplatin-induced toxicity (Arhoghroet al., 2012), enhancement of egg laying capacity as well as egg quality of growing pullets (Nworguet al., 2012) and reversal of carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in Wistar rats (Arhoghroet al., 2009). Dried leaves and essential oil of the plant have been used as fragrances in the production of local perfumes, topical ointments and herbal soaps. They have equally demonstrated insect repellent nature in stored produce (Brisibeet al., 2011), anthelminthic activities (Sofowora, 1982), natural antioxidant activities (Oboh, 2008; Uyohet al., 2013a) and novel cancer-fighting compounds (Stephen et al., 2010), thereby providing good justification for increased production and consumption of the plant.
Ocimumgratissinumis popularly used in folk medicine for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, cough, fever, gonorrhea, worm infection, stomach aches, headaches, pile, pneumonia and surface wound (Iwalokunet al.2003; Ijehet al.2004; NangiaMakkeret al. 2007). It is also implicated in blood coagulation, anti- inflammatory, cardiovascular and renal function properties have been observed (Edemeka and Ogwu, 2001; Anigbogu and Uzoaga, 2006). The leaves of Ocimumgratissinumare used to prepare soups and porridge for women after delivery among the Igbos of Nigeria and also in the management of the baby’s cord after delivery (Ijehet al. 2004; Edeoga and Jimoh, 2005).
Adeogun, 1995; Aletoret al.2002 and Matasyohet al. 2007). In Ocimumgratissinum, the antimicrobial activity of the leaf extracts are well documented (Iwalokunet al.2003; Ijehet al. 2005; Mbata and Salkia, 2007; Nweze and Eze 2009; Nwinyet al. 2009; Obohet al. 2009 and Prablyet al. 2009). They have also been reports on its nutritive composition and phytochemistry of (Nwachukwu and Ijeh, 2000; Edeogaet al. 2006; Osuagwuet al.2010). But none of these works have looked at the genetic variations in Ocimumgratissinumfor proximate, mineral and phytochemical constituents. Crop improvements are dependent not only on the magnitude of phenotypic variability but also the extent to which the desirable characters are heritable. Therefore it is desirable to partition the observed variability into its heritable and non-heritable components.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Studies on Ocimumgratissimum have so far focused mainly on the characterization of its phytochemical profile, especially of the volatile oils derived from the leaves. Not much is done on breeding of the species for improvement of its quantitative characters in spite of its variable polymorphic complex. Amneret al. (2011) employed PCA to differentiate Ocimum species based on morphological characteristics of the leavesand flowers while Fenech-Larioset al. (2008) also analysed agronomic variables of O. gratissimum using PCA.
1.3 Significance / Justification of the study
Information on genetic variability in populations is a pre-requisite for selection of superior genotypes (Abdul Fiyazet al.2011). The application of genetic variations can be utilized in future improvement programmes. Crop improvements depend not only on the magnitude of phenotypic variability but also on the extent to which the characters are heritable. Hence, it is important to partition the observed variations into its heritable and non-heritable components (Baye, 2002; Nwofia, 2006; Nwofia and Ojimelukwe, 2012; Kashianiet al. 2010).
1.4 Aim and objective of the study
In this study, therefore, the leaves from seven accessions of Ocimumgratissinum collected from Nigeria was analysed for proximate, minerals and phtochemicals constituents with a view of ascertaining if there are variations in these accessions and if there are, to determine the heritable and non heritable components and estimates of heritability and genetic advance expected.
Conclusion And Recommendations
In conclusion, this study has shown that Ocimumgratissinumis a good source of nutrients for the indigenous people. There were considerable variability among the accessions as shown by PCA and genetic component analysis and there exists room for improvement of the nutritional and phytochemical traits in this all important herb and spice and increase its availability to the vast majority of the people that rely on it as a source of food and medicine.
- Further work should be done on isolating the active ingredients in Ocimumgratissimum that gives its blood glucose lowering, weight gain and pregnancy outcome effect in diabetic pregnancy.
- The effect of the extract on reproductive hormones (progesterone, estrogen and oxytocine) should also be investigated.
- Also, comparative study should be done on the effect of aqueous extract of Ocimumgratissimum leaves between graded dose and quantity (as used by traditional practitioners).
- The mechanism for the blood glucose lowering and weight gain effect of aqueous extract of Ocimumgratissimum in diabetic pregnant rats observed in this study should also be investigated.
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