Variation In Chemical Composition And Minerals Of Basil (Ocimum Gratissimum L.)

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Variation In Chemical Composition And Minerals Of Basil (Ocimum Gratissimum L.)


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 it’s as a source of food and medicine.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of Study

Ocimum L. is a member of the labiatae family. The typical characteristics of this family are square stem, opposite and decussate leaves with many gland dots. The flowers are strongly zygormorphic with two distinct lips. Many of the family, particularly subfamily Neptoideas to which ocimum belongs, are strongly aromatic due to essential oils which consist of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and phenylpropanoids.

Ocimum unlike other economically important herbs in the labiatae such as Rosmarinus, thymus and salvia, belongs to tribe ocimae which has declinate stamens.that is stamens lie over the lower[anterior]lip of the corolla rather than ascending under the upper [posterior]lip.

Ocimum was best described by Linnaeus in 1753 who listed five[5] species .Bentham[1832]recognised just under 40 species and divided ocimum into three[3]sections .ocimum [ocymodonbenth] with appendiculate posterior stamens;Hierocymumbenth with hairs at the base of the posterior stamens and gynmnociumbenth with glabrous posterior stamens.The latter two sections contained a few species which are now placed in EndostemonN.E.BR, a genus bentham didn’t recognise or hemizygia. Bentham [1848] then subdivided section sectionocimum [ocymodon] into three subsections on the basis of calyx morphology. In subset,ocimum [basilica sensu briquette 1897] the throat of the calyx is open and bearded in subsect. Gratissima the throat is closed by the median lobe of the lower lip,subsectionhiantiabenth, with truncate lateral calyx lobes, only included species which are sometimes placed in becium [Sebald 1988,1989,paton 1995].Bentham[1848] also added sect ,hemizygiabenth. Which briquette [1897] considered to be a separate genus on account of the fused anterior stamens. Paton [1992] in his revision of African species of ocimumrecognised around thirty [30] species and used bentham [1848] infragenic classification of ocimum, with sect hemizygia and subset , hiantia removed, preferring to consider the latter as the separate genus becium. This classification is supported by nutlet characters which bentham did not and by analysis of pollen morphology [Harley et al, 1992]. However this classification is not entirely without problems, as pointed out [Paton 1992] ocimumdrdnatumA.J.paton doesn’t fit neatly into the existing categories.ocimumlamiifolium is also anomalous , appearing to have a close relationship to orthosiphon subgenus nautochilus [Bremek.]codd. Pushpangadan [1974,pushpangadan and bradu 1995,sobti and pushpangadan 1979] formulated a different infragenic classification The ‘Basilicum’ group contains herbaceous annuals or sometimes or sometimes perennials with black , ellipsoid, strongly mucilaginous seeds and with a basic chromosome number of n=12 whereas the ‘sanctum’ group are perennial shrubs with brown globose non-mucilaginous or weakly seeds and a basic chromosome number of n=8.the basilicum group contains only section ocimum subsection ocimum. The remainder of the genus must be placed in the sanctum group. This classification is commonly used in the economic and industrial literature ,e.gbarrah[1980], pushpangadan and bradu [1995] whereas bentham system is the basis for that used in taxonomic literature. Economically the most important taxon within ocimum is section ocimum .the most heavily used species are o.basilicum, o.americanum, and their hybrid o xcitriodorum. These species are use d for essential oil production and as pot herbs. O.kilmandscharicumis extensively grown in the tropics for camphor production .O.gratissimum is grown for the essential oil in its leaves and stems. Eugenol and to a lesser extent thymol extracted from the oil are substitutes for clove oil and thyme oil. The whole plant and essential oil have many applications in traditional medicine, especially in Africa and india. Preparations from the whole plant are used as stomachic and in treating sunstroke, headache and influenza .the seeds are have laxative properties and are prescribed against gonorrhoea. the essential oil is applied against fever inflammations of the throat. In Indonesia [Sumatra] a tea is made from the leaves , while in Thailand the leaves are applied as a flavouring. In Indonesia the eugenol-type of o.gratissimum is used in the ceremonial washing of corpses and is planted in graveyards. In indiao.gratissimum named ‘ram tulsi’ is widely used in religious ceremonies and rituals.

In Nigeria and other African countries, in- digenous people use many plants as food and medicine. Such plants have a variety of com- pounds which are of medicinal and nutritive im- portance; they are used as spices, food or medi- cine (Edeoga and Eriata, 2001; Edeoga et al. 2003; Osuagwu and Nwosu, 2006; Osuagwu, 2008 and Osuagwu et al. 2010). These plants have been shown to contain bioactive com- pounds 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 Ocimum L. 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 (Marotti et al.1996). Ocimumgratissinum is 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 5- 13cm 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 (Waner et al.1999).

Ocimumgratissinum is popularly used in folk medicine for the treatment of upper respira- tory tract infection, diarrhea, cough, fever, gon- orrhea, worm infection, stomach aches, head- aches, pile, pneumonia and surface wound (Iwalokun et al.2003; Ijeh et al.2004; Nangia- Makker et al. 2007). It is also implicated in blood coagulation, anti- inflammatory, cardio- vascular and renal function properties have been observed (Edemeka and Ogwu, 2001; Anigbogu and Uzoaga, 2006). The leaves of Ocimumgratissinum are used to prepare soups and por- ridge for women after delivery among the Igbos of Nigeria and also in the management of the baby’s cord after delivery (Ijeh et al. 2004; Edeoga and Jimoh, 2005).

The nutritive, vitamin, mineral and essential oils of some Nigerian vegetables have been in- vestigated and are known to be rich sources of carbohydrates, protein, ash, crude fibre, food energy, crude fat, vitamins and minerals (Aletor and Adeogun, 1995; Aletor et al.2002 and Matasyoh et al. 2007). In Ocimumgratissinum, the antimicrobial activity of the leaf extracts are well documented (Iwalokun et al.2003; Ijeh et al. 2005; Mbata and Salkia, 2007; Nweze and Eze 2009; Nwiny et al. 2009; Oboh et al. 2009 and Prably et al. 2009). They have also been reports on its nutritive composition and phytochemistry of (Nwachukwu and Ijeh, 2000; Edeoga et al. 2006; Osuagwu et al.2010). But none of these works have looked at the genetic variations in Ocimumgratissinum for proxi- mate, 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 Background To The Study

Information on genetic variability in popula- tions is a pre-requisite for selection of superior genotypes (Abdul Fiyaz et al.2011). The appli- cation of genetic variations can be utilized in future improvement programmes. Crop im- provements 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; Kashiani et al. 2010).

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.

1.3 Aim Of The Study

The aim of this study is to assess the variation inchemical composition and minerals of basil (OcimumGratissimum L.)

1.4 Significance Of Study

There are more than 30 species of herbs and shrubs of Ocimum. Its great variability included morphology, the color of flowers, growth habits, chemical composition, leaves and stems. The genus is native to Asia, central and southern American and Africa. In ancient Greeks, it was called the herb of kings. Basil is an English name for Ocimumbasilicum L., while it is called Basilic, Basilikum and Albahaca, in French, German and Spanish, respectively. It is also called reihan and rehan in Persian and Arabic language, respectively. The most important member of Ocimum genus, are Ocimumamericanum L., Ocimumbasilicum L., Ocimumhispidulum Schum, Ocimumtenuiflorum L., Ocimum sanctum L. and Ocimumratissimum L.[1–3] Common names of Octimumbasilicum is sweet basil, while common names of O. americanum are hoary basil, hairy basil, American basil, lemon basil and spice basil. Common names O. campechianum are least basil, Peruvian basil and spice basil, and African basil, tree basil and shrubby basil are common names of O. gratissimum. Common name of O. xcitriodorum and O. kilimandscharicum are lemon basil, and camphor basil, respectively. The dominant volatile components of basil are linalool, methyl chavicol, eugenol, bergamotene and methyl cinnamate.[4–6] Basil is also associated with Iranian, Italian, Chinese and Indian cuisines. The chemical components, essential oil levels included, vary between the different species and cultivars, and different growing conditions. Various parameters such as genotype, cropping seasons and geographical properties may impact biochemical components of medicinal plants.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary And Conclusion

5.1 Summary

From the study, O. gratissimum is an important plant with a potential in pharma industries in clinical tests and preparation of new herbal formulation to cure human diseases. The plant has traditional uses and in many parts of the world, it is edible and used as a nutritional and flavouring agent. As the access towards naturopathy has increased globally and a large number of researches are under process to introduce innovative natural products, hence this plant is a serious candidate in studying and discovering novel bioactive compounds and their use in treating incurable diseases.

5.2 Conclusion

In conclusion, this study has shown that Ocimumgratissinum is 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.

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