survey of plants used for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the Mutale Local Municipality. Thirty three traditional healers were interviewed using semi structured questionnaires. Parameters recorded during the interviews were local plant names, frequency use, plant parts used, mode of preparation, route of administration, dosage and availability. Ethnobotanical information obtained from traditional healers, has revealed 30 plant species belonging to 17 families as medicinal plants used for the treatment of diseases such as syphilis, and gonorrhoea in the area. The largest proportion of medicinal plants documented belonged to the family Fabaceae (23%). Roots are the most frequently used parts of the recorded medicinal plants constituting 50% followed by bark (30%), leaves (10%), then the fruits and whole plants having the least percentages which are (6.66%) and (3.33%) respectively. Oral administration is the main method used by traditional healers. Based on the information gathered from the traditional healers, seven medicinal plants commonly reported for the treatment of STDs were Aloe marlothii A. Berger, Elaeodendron transvaalense (Burtt Davy) R.H. Archer, Terminalia sericea Burch. ex DC., Colosphospermum mopane (J. Kirk ex Benth.) J. Kirk ex J. Léonard., Elephantorrhiza burkei Benth., Adansonia digitata L. and Capparis sepiaria L.
The study was conducted to assess the phytochemical content and antioxidant potential of leaf extract from Morella serrata. The antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of leaf extracts (absolute ethanol, 50% aqueous ethanol, and water) of the plant were assessed against 1,1diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), nitric oxide (NO), 2,2́-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS), hydroxyl radical scavenging activity and total antioxidant capacity with ascorbic acid as a standard antioxidant. The ethanol extract showed best activity compared to other extracts and ascorbic acid in the nitric oxide and metal chelating assays with IC50 values of 1.01 ± 0.35 and 0.16 ± 0.05 mg/ml respectively. Water and 50% aqueous ethanol extracts respectively exhibited best activity in the ABTS and hydroxyl radical scavenging assays compared to other extracts and ascorbic acid. Phytochemical screening of the extracts revealed the presence of ﬂavonoids, tannins, and phenolics. Total phenolic, ﬂavonoids and ﬂavonols content of the extracts ranged from 0.06 ± 0.01 to 0.24 ± 0.02 mg GAE/g; 1.25 ± 0.01 to 2.04 ± 0.03 mg QE/g; and 0.35 ± 0.01 to 0.50 ± 0.001 mg QE/g respectively. Based on the results, it can be concluded that M. serrata leaf extracts can be a potential source of natural antioxidants. Further studies are suggested to evaluate the in vivo antioxidant potential and isolate the active principles.
The association and interaction of Acacia decurrens Willd. with its indigenous species at the Waterberg area, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Antimycobacterial activity in plants: Which is the best model organism to use?
M. Mbedzi, M.H. Ligavha-Mbelengwa, M.P. Tshisikhawe Department of Botany, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa Invasive species have been identiﬁed as the second main cause of biodiversity loss after habitat destruction and the main cause of species extinctions in island ecosystems (Alonso et al., 2001). The study was carried out in farms around the north west and south west of Mookgophong in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The main objective of the study was to investigate the association and interaction between alien invasive plants and their neighbouring native plant species. A total of sixty quadrats each of 10 m2 were constructed randomly by three groups of six students each, working in belts of 100 m × 500 m. The numbers of invasive alien and indigenous species were counted in each quadrat. The heights and canopy covers of both indigenous and invasive alien species were measured and compared. The invasive alien plant species were found dominating throughout the study area. An inverse relationship between indigenous and invasive alien plant species exists where invasive alien plant species were recorded. Special attention therefore needs to be given to invasive alien plant species before they lead the majority of our indigenous species to local and/global extinction. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2016.02.103
Phytochemical analysis and antioxidant activity of leaf extracts from Morella serrata (Lam.) Killick (Myricaceae) N. Mbhelea,b, H.A. Abdelgaldirb, A.R. Ndhlalab, A.O.T. Ashafaa a Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Group, Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, Private Bag X13, Phuthaditjhaba 9866, South Africa b Agricultural Research Council, Vegetable and Ornamental Plants (VOP), Crop Science, Private Bag X293, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
L.J. McGaw, A.O. Aro, P.N. Kabongo, J.P. Dzoyem, J.N. Eloff Phytomedicine Programme, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains has exacerbated the threat posed by this disease. Apart from the most common causal organism of TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, rapidly growing mycobacteria are increasing in clinical importance after being implicated in various infections, particularly in immune-compromised individuals. Medicinal plants are used widely to treat TB-related symptoms, and in the process of screening traditionally used plants and those chosen on a taxonomic basis, we have analysed comparisons between activity shown by extracts against pathogenic and non-pathogenic Mycobacterium species. It would be highly useful to identify a non-pathogenic, rapidly growing species to determine antimycobacterial activity of plant extracts as the assays are less timeconsuming, costly and hazardous. In a number of studies of different groups of plant extracts tested against a panel of mycobacteria, various fast-growing and normally non-pathogenic Mycobacterium species including Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycobacterium aurum, Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacterium bovis BCG emerged as the best predictors of activity against pathogenic Mycobacterium species. Where criteria such as drug sensitivity proﬁles are considered, M. aurum may be the preferred predictor of activity against M. tuberculosis, but it appears that other factors need to be taken into consideration. There is no conclusive resolution yet on this important issue. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2016.02.105
Heavy metal uptake potential of Egeria densa (Plach) Casp V. Mgobozi, A.J. Afolayan, G.A. Otunola MPED Research Center, Botany Department, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa
Heavy metals contamination in the environment is a concern worldwide. Most of the methods already in use to clean up the environment from these heavy metals are costly and difﬁcult to get optimum results. Currently; focus is on phytoremediation as an effective and affordable solution. This study evaluated the heavy metal uptake potential of Egeria densa (a submerged plant) as a possible candidate in phytoremediation of polluted water. Concentrations of heavy metals [Cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn)] in water, sediments and E. densa plant samples of two ponds were evaluated. Pb, Fe, Mn, and Cu contents were very high in the water samples of both ponds and raged from 0.104 to 35.36 mg/L, while Cd and Zn were not detected. Evaluation of the sediments from both ponds revealed that Fe contents were high in the sediments of both ponds and Cu contents were very low. Heavy metal content in E. densa plant samples from both ponds showed that manganese was high in plant sample from pond 1, while zinc concentration was greater in plants sample from pond 2. These results suggested that E. densa has the potential to accumulate heavy metals especially Mn and Zn. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2016.02.106
Antidiabetic and cytotoxic activities of Aloe ferox Mill R. Mhaladi, I.T. Madamombe-Manduna, S.S. Mashele Drug Discovery Unit, Department of Health Sciences, Central University of Technology, Free State, Private Bag X20539, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa With over 86 recorded uses, Aloe ferox Mill. is part of a multimillion dollar business that is rapidly growing and a major interest in the pharmaceutical industry. It is for that reason that more research must be done to prove and validate its use and safety and in the process discover even more medicinal beneﬁts. This project focused on investigating the antidiabetic and cytotoxic potential of A. ferox methanoic and aqueous extracts. The C2C12 muscle cells were grown in Dulbecco's Modiﬁed Eagle Medium (DMEM) with 10% foetal bovine serum at 37 °C in humidiﬁed air with 5% CO2. Chang cells were grown and maintained in Eagle's Minimal Essential Medium (EMEM) at 37 °C with 10% foetal bovine serum with 5% CO2 humidiﬁed air. Both were used to model and determine the effect of A. ferox extracts on glucose uptake. Mosmann Tetrazole Test (MTT) and the Sulforhodamine B assays were used to determine the cytotoxic effects of the extracts on C2C12 muscle and Chang cells and normal human foetal lung ﬁbroblasts. The extracts enhanced glucose uptake in the C2C12 cells from 100 μg/ml to 109.57 μg/ml (methanoic) and 138 μg/ml (aqueous) which was more effective than the vehicle control Metformin. The extracts caused an insigniﬁcant decrease in glucose uptake by Chang cells from 100 μg/ml to 90 μg/ml (aqueous) and 98 μg/ml (methanoic). Both extracts did not show any toxicity to the normal cells they were tested against. The extracts caused only an insignificant decrease in cell viability deeming it a very low hazard. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2016.02.107
University of the Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa
Sugarcane requires 12:30 h day-length and N21 °C for ﬂowering and fertile pollen production. At the South African Sugarcane Research Institute in KwaZulu-Natal, where sugarcane breeding is undertaken, these conditions are manipulated in controlled facilities as they do not occur naturally. The objectives were to evaluate the effect of photoperiod treatments on time to ﬂowering and pollen production by genotypes over 19 years. Glasshouse (G) and photoperiod house (P) treatments were designed to differ in the time of artiﬁcial dawn and in incremental lengths to maintain the 12:30 h day-length. The data collected and analysed (variance analyses) were (a) natural date to ﬂowering (number of days to panicle emergence) and (b) percentage pollen stain (starchiodine stain). There were signiﬁcant (P b 0.0001) differences among photoperiod treatments for time of ﬂowering and pollen viability by genotypes. The genotypes in P treatments produced more fertile pollen and delayed ﬂowering (53–64% viability and 179–188 days to ﬂowering) than in the G treatments (39–51% viability and 158–183 days to ﬂowering). Since sugarcane pollen is only viable for 20 min, it is desirable that ﬂowers to be used as ‘male parents’ from the P treatments should ﬂower later than the ‘female parents’ in the glasshouse as stigma receptivity generally lasts for 7 days. Although synchronisation among genotypes was partially achieved, the ﬂowering times still need to be narrowed to enhance the production of hybrids. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2016.02.108
The comparison of the uses of Sclerocarya birrea (A Rich.) Hochst. subspecies caffra (Sond) among the Bapedi and the Vhavenda cultural groups in the Limpopo Province, South Africa T.A. Mocheki, M.H. Ligavha-Mbelengwa Department of Botany, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa Sclerocarya birrea is one of the most commonly used fruit-bearing tree species found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the most highly valued indigenous trees of Southern Africa due to its wide variety of uses and its multifaceted uses which are recognised as commercially, medicinally and culturally important in Africa. It is widely used by local communities as a source of food and for ethnomedicinal as well as cultural practices. The main aim of this study was to compare the uses of S. birrea among the Bapedi and Vhavenda people. The study was conducted in the Limpopo Province whereby one village per cultural group was visited and 30 homesteads were randomly selected per village. To get the information about the uses of S. birrea a questionnaire was used. The results showed that the Bapedi cultural group has a higher number of uses for the fruits and the stem than the Vhavenda cultural group, whereas the Vhavenda cultural group has higher number of uses for the bark than the Bapedi cultural group. Both cultures have an equal number of uses for the leaves and roots of S. birrea. The fruits were mostly used by both cultures since they have the highest number of uses in both cultures followed by the bark. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2016.02.109
Assessment of photoperiod treatments on ﬂowering and pollen production in a sugarcane breeding programme in South Africa N.Y. Mhlongoa,b, M.M. Zhoua,c, S.J. Snymana,b, M.P. Wattb a South African Sugarcane Research Institute, Private Bag X02, Mount Edgecombe 4300, South Africa b University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), School of Life Sciences, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
Effect of P-fertilization and Bradyrhizobium-inoculation on nodulation and growth of cowpea at Mbombela, South Africa M.S. Mochosaa, S.T. Masekoa, F.D. Dakorab a Department of Crop Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, 175 Nelson Mandela Drive, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa