African Journal of Biotechnology

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Accumulative capabilities of essential nutrient elements in organs of Monsonia burkeana

ND Mamphiswana, PW Mashela, LK Mdee


Monsonia burkeana is widely used as herbal tea in South Africa. However, the accumulative capabilities (ACs) of its organs for essential nutrient elements are not documented. A study was conducted to determine the ACs for nutrient elements in fruit, leaf, stem and root of M. burkeana. Ten plants per plot, with three replicates, were harvested whole, oven-dried separately into the four organs and quantified for selected essential nutrient elements. On average, the increasing order of macronutrients in various organs was as follows; fruit = Ca >N > K > P > Mg, leaf = Ca > N > K > P ≥ Mg, stem = K > Ca > N > P ≥ Mg and root = K > N > Ca > P ≥ Mg. In contrast, for micronutrients the order was as follows; fruit = Cl > Fe > Mn > Cu > Zn > B, leaf = Cl > Cu > Fe > Zn > Mn > B, stem = Cl > Cu > Fe > Mn > Zn > B and root = Fe > Cl > Cu > Mn > Zn > B. In conclusion, the ACs for essential nutrient elements differed, with the reproductive and vegetative organs having high ACs for macro-nutrients, whereas, roots had high ACs for micro-nutrients. Herbal tea from M. burkeana leaves has the potential to provide the dietary essential nutrient element requirements.

Key words: Accumulative capability, Monsonia burkeana, essential nutrient elements, traditional medicine.

AJOL African Journals Online