Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 425-432. 2008.
Preliminary Phytochemical and Anti-Bacterial Studies on Passiflora edulis
Johnson, M1*, Maridass, M2 and Irudayaraj V1
1 Department of
Plant Biology and Biotechnology, St. Xavier’s College,
2 Animal Health
Research Unit, St. Xavier’s College,
Author for correspondence: E-mail: email@example.com
Issued 25 June 2008
Preliminary phytochemical and antibacterial activity of the leaf and callus of Passiflora edulis Sims, were examined using extracts of benzene, methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, chloroform and petroleum ether. Of these, chloroform extract of the leaf and callus showed the maximum solubility and antimicrobial activity with the MIC ranging from 100 to 250 µl. Extracts of benzene, petroleum ether and isopropanol were ineffective in inhibiting the selected bacteria. In addition, this phytochemical study confirmed the presence of alkaloids, saponins, tannins and triterpenes from ethanol and chloroform extracted sources.
Key Words: In vitro, in vivo, calli, bio-efficacy, antibacterial, phytochemistry.
Each and every human civilization on earth has been
rooted in the biodiversity of nature.
Biodiversity provides humankind enormous direct benefits and indirect
essential services through natural ecosystem function and stability. It comprises about 5 to more than 50
millions of species of which 270,000 are plant species. The World Health
Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 80% of the world’s people rely on
plants for their primary health care.
Plants contain chemical constituents such as tannins, flavonoids,
steroids, saponins, glycosides, phenolics, terpenes, alkaloids, waxes,
essential oils, carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins etc1. The
presence or absence of some of these constituents has been found useful in
the placement of the plants in their taxonomic categories.2
Particular chemical constituents or drugs are found to be present in
particular plants or plant parts that are used for many useful purposes.3
- 7 A special feature of
angiospermic plants is their capacity to produce a large number of organic
chemicals of high structural diversity. These so-called secondary metabolites
have contributed more than 7000 different compounds in use today as cardiac
drugs, anticancer agents, hormones, antibiotics, laxatives, diuretics,
analgesics, anesthetics, drugs for ulcer treatments and antiparasitic
compounds. In the
Materials and Methods
The plant Passiflora
edulis Sims was collected
from Main campus botanical garden of
Results and Discussion
The results of phytochemical and anti–bacterial screening tests on extracts of leaf and calli of Passiflora edulis in different solvents against pathogenic bacteria using diffusion techniques are depicted in Tables 1 and 2. The solvent chloroform showed maximum extraction value and its extract showed the maximum bio-efficacy when compared with other solvents due to the presence of variety of compounds such as saponins, steroids, tannins, phenolics, triterpenoids, alkaloids and flavonoids (Table 1). Alkaloids are widely distributed and naturally occurring in plants. Most of the alkaloids from plants are used for medicinal purpose. Alkaloids are chemical constituents from plants that can work on the nervous system of the human body and used for analgesic, antispasmodic and bacterial effects16 & 17. In the present study also we confirmed the presence of alkaloids in all the plant extracts and that augments the use of alkaloid in global pharmaceutical market. Tannins are antiseptic in nature; they have astringent properties and can hasten healing of wounds in a flamed membrane.18 They are free from the attack of parasitic fungi and insects. Tannins can be used in this capacity to give the human body a resistance against parasites.19 Tannic acid has been found to have anti-bacterial, antiseptic, astringent, antiulcer and antiviral properties.20 Flavonoids, on the other hand, are potent water–soluble antioxidants and free radical scavengers, which prevent oxidative cell damage and have strong anti-cancer activity.21 – 24 Flavonoids in intestinal track lower the risk of heart disease. As antioxidants flavonoids from these plants provide anti-inflammatory activity.23 Saponin possesses specific physical, chemical and biological activities that make them useful as drugs. Some of these biological properties include antimicrobial,25 anti–inflammatory,26 anti–feedent,27 and hemolytic effects.28 The results of the present study revealed that, antibacterial efficacies of chloroform, ethanol, methanol, isopropanol and petroleum ether extracts were varied in effectiveness which may be attributed to the presence of tannin and saponins. The presence of phenolic compounds in the plant indicates the anti–microbial potential. In the present study, we also observed the anti bacterial activity, which agrees with the findings of Ofokansi et al.. 29 & 24 Both benzene and petroleum ether extracts were found to be ineffective of bacterial inhibition, due to the presence of less numbers of active compounds, saponins, steroids and alkaloids. Our observations were supported by previous observations on Rauvolfia tetraphylla and Physalis minima leaf and callus extracts.10 The chloroform extracts of leaf and callus inhibited growth of all the tested bacteria (Table 2). Petroleum ether, isopropanol and benzene extracts showed the minimum zone of inhibition against the selected bacteria. The benzene and isopropanol extracts exhibited no activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition, our benzene extract showed almost no activity against Aeromonas and Serattia. The bio-efficacy analysis confirms the phytochemical observations. The other aqueous fractions were active against all the test bacteria, but the efficacy was varied (Table 2). The chloroform extract showed the maximum efficacy against the tested bacteria. The ethanolic extract showed maximum efficacy against E. coli compared to other fractions. Methanolic and chloroform extracts showed the maximum inhibition zone against Staphylococcus aureus and Serratia. The extracts of higher plants have been proved a very good source of antibiotics against various bacterial agents.30 Plant-based antimicrobial compounds have enormous therapeutic potential as they can serve the purpose without any side effects that are often associated with synthetic antimicrobials. Results of the present study are found directly correlated with the observations of previous workers.3,4,10,11& 15 The observations obtained in the present study also added a note on the phytochemical history. Earlier observations on Baliospermum axillare, Mimosa hamata and Nerium oleadaner leaf and callus extracts showed considerable anti-bacterial and anti-microbial activity.9, 10&31 The present observation augments the previous phytochemical and bio-efficacy studies on cell cultures. It is noteworthy that varied fractions obtained from the callus also exhibited similar pattern of bioactivity against all tested bacteria. The efficacy was, however, lower. The present observations coincided with Jain et al.3 observation on Mimosa hamata. The observations of the present study strengthen the bio-efficacy studies on cell cultures. Further work is required to find out the active principle from the plant extracts and to carry out pharmaceutical studies.
1. Stace CA
Plant Taxonomy and Biosystematics, (1st ed.), Edward Arnold,
2. Boulter D. The use of Amino acids sequence data in the classification of higher
plants. In Chemistry in Botanical classification’ Nobel symposium. 25 (Bendz G
and Santersson J (eds) Academic Press,
3. Jain SC, Jain R, Vlietinck AJ In vivo and in vitro antimicrobial efficacy of Mimosa
hamata. Ind. Jl. Biotechnology 2004: 3: 271 – 273.
4. Wiart C, Mongana S, Khalifah S, Mahan M, Ismail MB, Narayana AK, Sulaiman
M. (2004). Antimicrobial Screening of plants used for traditional medicine in the
state of Perak, Peninsular Malaysia. Fitoterapia 75: 68 – 73.
5. Siddique NA, Bari MA, Naderuzzaman ATM, Khatun M, Rahman MH, Sultana
and identification of endangered medicinal plants by questionnaire survey in
Barind tract of
6. Karou D, Savadogo A, Canini A, Yemeogo S, Montesano C, Simpore J, Colizzi V,
Traore SA Antibacterial activity of alkaloids from Sida acuta. African Journal of
Biotechnology 2006: 5: 195 – 200.
7. Okeke CU, Elekwa I Proximate and Preliminary phytochemical analyses of
Avocado Pearpersa gratissima Gaertn.f. Nigerian Journal of Botany 2006: 19:
156 – 162.
8. Singh JS The biodiversity crisis, A multifaceted review. Curr. Sci 2002: 82: 638-
9. Suffrendi JB, Sader HS, Goncalves AG, Reis AO, Gales AC, Varella AD, Younes
R N Screening of antimicrobial extracts from plants native to Brazillian Amazon
rain forest and Atlantic forest. Brazil. J. Med. Biol. Res. 2004: 37: 379 – 384.
10. Shariff N, Sudharshana MS, Umesha S, Hariprasad P. Antimicrobial activity of
Rauvolfia tetraphylla and Physalis minima leaf and callus extracts. African
Journal of Biotechnology 2006: 5: 946 – 950.
11. Castello M, Phatak A, Chandra N, Sharon M. Antimicrobial activity of crude
extracts from plant parts and corresponding calli of Bixa orellana L. Ind. J. Exp.
Biol. 2002: 40: 1378 – 1381.
12. Murashige T, Skoog F A revised medium for rapid growth and bioassay with
tobacco tissue culture. Physiol. Plant. 1962: 5: 467 – 497.
JB Phytochemical Methods, Chapman and Hall,
14. Harborne JB Biochemistry of Phenolic compounds Academic press London 1964:
93 – 111.
15. Victor B, Maridass M, Ramesh U. Antibacterial activity of flower and fruit
extracts in Citrullus lanatus. Journal of Eco – Physiology 2002: 5: 1-3.
SO, Oluwalana SA,
of seeds of Acacia nilotica (Schum and Thonn.) Roberts. The Bioprospector
1999:1: 27 – 31.
17. Okwu DE, Okwu ME Chemical composition of Spondias mombin Linn. Plant
parts. J. Sustain. Agric. Environ. 2004: 6: 140 – 147.
18. Tiger L. The natural guide to the medicinal herbs and plants (1st ed.), Tigerbooks,
19. Wallis TE The text book of Pharmacognosy, (5th ed.) CBS publishes and
20. Moerman DE Native American Ethanobotany, Timber Press, Orgo, 1998: 473 –
22. Del – Rio A, Obdululio BG, Casfillo J, Marin FG, Ortuno A. Uses and properties
of Citrus flavonoids. J. Agric Food Chem. 1997: 45: 4505-4515.
23. Okwu DE Phytochemicals and vitamin content of indigenous spices of
24. Okwu DE, Josaiah C Evaluation of the chemical composition of two Nigerian
medicinal plants. African Journal of Biotechnology 2006: 5: 357 – 361.
25. Margineanu VC, Cucu V, Grecu L, Parvu C Anticandidal action of saponin from
Primula spp. Planta Medica 1976: 30: 35 – 38.
26. Singh S,
Nicotiana plumbagingifolia. Phytochemistry 1974: 13: 2020 – 2022.
27. Dharam CK Anti – feedent active saponins from Balanites roxburgi stem bark.
Phytochemistry 1987: 26: 2223 – 2225.
28. Abe H, Odashima S, Arichi, S. The effects of saikosaponins on biological
membranes: Ultra structure studies on the effects of saikosaponnins on the cell
structure. Planta Medica 1981: 42: 356 – 363.
29. Ofokansi KC, Esimore CO and Anele CK Evaluation of the in vitro combined
antibacterial effect of the leaf extracts of Bryophyllum pinnatum and Ocimum
gratissium. Plant Prod. Res. J. 2005: 9: 23 – 27.
30. Nelson C. Azu, Reginald A. Onyeagba: Antimicrobial Properties of Extracts of
Allium cepa (Onions) and Zingiber officinale (Ginger) on Escherichia coli,
Salmonella typhi and Bacillus subtilis. The Internet Journal of Tropical
Medicine. 2007: 3:2
.31. Singh K, Sudharshana MS Antimicrobial activity of Baliospermum axillare plant
and callus extract. Asian J. Microbiol. Biotecnol. Environ. Sci. 2003: 5: 571 –
Table 1. Preliminary Phytochemical Screening of Passiflora edulis.
Table 2. Antibacterial efficacy of Passiflora edulis.
SA - Staphylococcus aureus, PA -Pseudomonas aeruginosa, KA - Klebsiella aerogenes, A - Aeromonas sps, S - Serratia EC – Escherichia coli