communities situated 0.1–3 km apart show signiﬁcant turnover and may be tied to ecological niches). Insects show a similar pattern, but the decrease in community overlap is more gradual, suggesting many insects can utilize multiple (possibly closely related) hosts while plants are tied to particular niches. The emergent structure of multiple interaction networks is spatially and temporally invariant, despite high compositional change. However, the internal structure of the networks shows variation (i.e. interactions show spatial and temporal turnover). Seasonal interaction turnover is driven by a turnover in herbivores and by herbivore host switching. Spatially the turnover in interactions is driven by simultaneous turnover in both plants and insects, either suggesting that insects are host speciﬁc, or that both groups exhibit parallel responses to environmental gradients. Spatial interaction turnover is also driven by a turnover in plants, showing that many insects can utilize multiple (possibly closely related) hosts and have wider distribution ranges than their host plants. Results point toward insect host speciﬁcity, but probably not at the species level, as the primary mechanism structuring insect communities associated with the Restionaceae in the CFR. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2015.03.058
Medicinal plants used for the treatment of tuberculosis in Lesotho: An ethnobotanical survey L.S. Kosea, A. Moteeteea, S. Van Vuurenb a Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg, Corner Kingsway and University Road, Auckland Park 2092, Johannesburg, South Africa b Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa An ethnobotanical survey of plants used for treatment of common ailments in Lesotho was undertaken by interviewing 27 traditional medicine practitioners (TMPs) in the Maseru district. A total of 38 ailments were reported as commonly treated using a total of 80 medicinal plants. The 10 commonest ailments in descending order are: tuberculosis (TB), human immunodeﬁciency virus (HIV), herpes, liver problems, breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, syphilis, infertility, stomach disorders, and difﬁcult pregnancy/labor. The ailments were ranked according to frequency mentioned in interviews, and TB was found to be the commonest ailment mentioned by all the interviewees. The aim of this presentation is therefore to 1) discuss the plants used by TMPs in Lesotho for the treatment of TB and 2) present the results of a literature survey conducted to determine if these plants (i) are used for similar purposes elsewhere and (ii) have been tested for antimicrobial properties against Mycobacterium tuberculosis to validate their traditional utilization. Of the 80 plants mentioned in the study, 26 were recorded as being used for the treatment of TB, both individually and in combination. The plants used individually include; Leobordea lanceolata, Pentanisia prunelloides, Dicoma anomala, Helichrysum odoratissimum, Helichrysum caespititium, Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Hypoxis hermerocallidea, Eriocephalus punctulatus, Trifolium burchellianum and Gazania krebsiana. The ﬁrst ﬁve plants are also used in combination together with Withania somnifera and Pennisetum salvifolia in one herbal preparation. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2015.03.059
Crystals in the bark of African genistoid legumes E.L. Kotinaa, A.V. Stepanovaa,b, A.A. Oskolskiia,b, P.M. Tilneya, B.-E. Van Wyka
Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa b Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, Prof. Popov Str. 2, 197376 St. Petersburg, Russia
A study of the bark of South African genistoid legumes (family Fabaceae) has revealed the presence of seven different types of crystals. These are prismatic (including cubic), druse, navicular (including truncated), spherical, bundles of styloids, crystal sand, and acicular crystals in sheaf-like aggregates. The occurrence and distribution of these crystals in the bark of 115 samples from the tribes Sophoreae (1 species), Podalyrieae (35 species), Crotalarieae (42 species) and Genisteae (13 species) were investigated. The elemental composition of the crystals was examined with X-ray microanalyses. The acicular crystals in sheaf-like aggregates were found to be composed of carbon and oxygen; no metals or other heavier elements were detected indicating that they are organic. In contrast, all other crystals show the typical peaks of calcium, as can be expected for calcium oxalate crystals. The taxonomic distribution of acicular crystals in sheaf-like aggregates is consistent with the phylogenetic pattern of Podalyrieae where they occur in the two early-diverged lineages (Cyclopia clade and Virgilia + Calpurnia clade). The navicular crystals are restricted to the tribes Crotalarieae and Podalyrieae. Their presence is seemingly an ancestral trait for Podalyrieae that is secondarily lost in Cyclopia, as well as in most species of Calpurnia and Podalyria. Druses mostly occur in the same species and in the same bark tissues as the navicular crystals. This tendency of the co-occurrence of the two crystal types apparently shows a common origin. The presence of prismatic crystals in the bark may be conﬁdently proposed as an ancestral condition for the genistoid legumes, with their loss and multiple reversals in crown clades corresponding to tribes Genisteae, Crotalarieae and Podalyrieae.
The molecular and physiological effects of fumonisin B1 on cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) R.G. Kotze, B.G. Crampton, Q. Kritzinger Department Plant Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatﬁeld 0028, South Africa Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is a leguminous crop that is cultivated in the equatorial and subtropical areas of the world. It is a versatile, nutritious and widely adapted crop used by subsistence farmers in rural communities and is also grown commercially. However, the seed is prone to fungal infestation under sub-optimal storage conditions. Fungal seed pathogens include Aspergillus and Fusarium spp., which have the ability to produce mycotoxins under these conditions. Fumonisin B1, primarily produced by Fusarium verticillioides, is phytotoxic to cowpea. It has been speculated that FB1 inhibits ceramide synthase, which is a key component of the sphingolipid pathway in plants. This study reports on the phytotoxic effects of FB1 on cowpea seeds/seedlings and attempts to provide insight on the mode of action of the toxin at a molecular level. Surface-disinfected seeds were imbibed for 10 h in sterile distilled water amended with FB1 to yield ﬁnal concentrations of 20, 40 and 60 mg/L. Seeds were additionally imbibed in spore solutions of FB1producing Fusarium strains. Slow imbibed seeds (sown in seedling trays) and seeds placed in sterile distilled water for 10 h served as the non-imbibed and imbibed controls, respectively. Percentage emergence, seedling weight and seedling vigour index were reduced by all three FB1 concentrations and one F. verticillioides strain (MRC 8265). Morphologically, the toxin caused stunted growth in seedlings. Preliminary studies on the effects of FB1 on ceramide synthase