Biochemical and Micro-morphoanatomical Investigations on Leucojum aestivum L.
Leucojum aestivum (snowflake) contains galantamine, a medication used for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. However, polyphenolic compounds of this species were not studied earlier. Proper understanding of the polyphenolics in the species and their antioxidant properties may lead to a review of their medical use. Therefore, in this study, the polyphenolic content of L. aestivum was determined by UV spectrophotometric and HPLC methods. DPPH, ABTS+, and RPC assays were performed for assessment of its antioxidant potential. Flower and leaf extracts of L. aestivum were found to have more antioxidant activity than its bulbs. This result demonstrated that it was an important source of antioxidant compounds. Qualitative and quantitative findings showed that it contained significant amounts of polyphenols. Naringenin, rosmarinic, p-coumaric, syringic, and gallic acid compounds were identified in the leaf and flower extracts. Methanol extracts of the fowers, leaves and bulbs had no activity against pathogenic bacterial strains. The methanolic flower and leaf extracts showed the most antifungal effective against Alternaria citri. Moreover, they were found to be a slightly antifungal effective against Penicillium glabrum and Cladosporium cladosporioides. Anatomical studies were performed on leaf transverse and surface sections of L. aestivum and its bulb cross-section. The isobilateral leaf had tetracytic type of stomata. The mesophyll comprised arge lysigenous cavities and contained crystalline inclusions (raphide crystals). Large amounts of compound starch grains were recognized to occur in parenchyma cells in the bulb. SEM observations revealed that leaf epidermal cells had conspicuous boundaries and their membranes on periclinal walls were striate.
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