Comparative anatomy, nutraceutical potentials and heavy metal composition of two varieties of Lasianthera africana (P. Beauv)
This study investigated the anatomical features, nutraceutical potentials and heavy metal compositions in two varieties of Lasianthera africana (P. Beauv) which is a member of the family Icacinaceae predominantly found mostly in southern Nigeria. The anatomical studies were carried out with free hand sectioning using a systematic arrangement of 5 razor blades. The slides were viewed using the light microscope and microphotographs were taken after careful examination from good preparations. The heavy metals, nutrients and antinutrients were analysed by standard methods. The anatomy of mid-ribs showed bicollateral vascular systems. There are three vascular traces and node is unilacunar. The vascular bundles and pith in mid-rib of dark variety is more extended than in white variety. The petiole anatomy of the two varieties has partially separated rib bundle wings. The stems have rings of open vascular systems and the pith of stem anatomy of dark variety is larger than that of white variety. The dark variety has more protein (28.00 + 0.04%) than white variety (24.94 + 0.02%), more oxalate (130.24 + 0.10 mg/100 g) as against (92.56 + 0.09 mg/100 g) in the white variety; and lead was also higher (0.692 mg/100 g) in the dark variety than in the white variety (0.038 mg/100 g). This study has shown that Lasianthera africana possesses anatomical features which are of taxonomic importance in the taxonomic delimitation of the varieties; has high nutritional contents and low levels of antinutrients except oxalate which is high and may be reduced to non-toxic level by processing, thus rendering it safe for human consumption.
Keywords: Icacinaceace, bicollateral, unilacunar, microphotographs