African Journal of Biotechnology

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Phytochemical properties of some solvent fractions of petroleum ether extract of the African mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus Linn) leaves and their antimicrobial activity

Egbuonu A. C. Cemaluk, N. Emeka Nwankwo


The leaves of the African Mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus Linn) on Kola acuminata in Nsukka, Eastern Nigeria were studied. The chloroform (A), ethyl acetate (B) and ethyl acetate residue (C) fractions of crude petroleum ether extract of L. micranthus Linn were subjected to phytochemical and antimicrobial evaluation. Results reveal the presence of protein in fraction C, whereas flavonoids, steroids and terpenes were present in all the fractions, but in a low quantity. Fractions A and B had high, while fraction C had moderate quantity of tannins. However, high quantity of resins was present in fraction C followed by fraction A. Fraction B showed the highest susceptibility (25) to Bacillus subtilis, and was active against the fungus, Candida albicans, suggesting its higher potency and fungistatic potential. Apart from Klebsiella spp., the other organisms were not susceptible to fraction A, apparently owing to high resins but no protein content. Fraction C was active against the highest number of organisms (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, B. subtilis and Klebsiella spp.). In all, this study suggests that A, B and C fractions of crude petroleum ether leaf extract of L. micranthus Linn is parasitic on K. acuminate, may serve as source for compounds with therapeutic potentials. However, the fractionating solvents used in this study may not be the preferred choice for fractionating the active principles of L. micranthus Linn. Interestingly, the possible fungistatic potential of L. micranthus Linn parasitic on K. acuminata as observed in fraction B may be exploited in the design and development of fungistatic drug.

Keywords: Phytochemical, antimicrobial, fungistatic, Loranthus micranthus Linn, Kola acuminata, mistletoe
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