Phytochemical Screening for Secondary Metabolites in Boswellia serrata Roxb. and Wrightia tinctoria (Roxb.) R.Br.
Boswellia serrata, an important source of oleo-gum resin commonly known as Indian olibanum and Wrightia tinctoria are well documented for their pharmaceutical properties. Indiscriminate removal, difficulty in vegetative propagation and poor germination accounts for the depletion of useful plant species. Plant tissue culture techniques are used as an alternative method for the production of specific metabolites and also for the propagation of plant species at a large scale. In the present study preliminary screening for the presence of secondary metabolites was reported in order to understand the levels of phytochemicals, so that in vitro production of secondary metabolites using cell cultures will be initiated in future studies. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the two plants show the presence of all the three major groups of secondary metabolites, like nitrogen containing alkaloids, phenolic compounds like flavonoids, tannins, terpenes like steroids, saponins etc. Significant levels of all three major secondary metabolites were present in both species. However, higher activities of phenols (277.0±4.36), tannins (240.67±5.21), alkaloids (963.3±11.7) and flavonoids (150.0±2.89) were observed in B. serrata. All the three major groups of secondary metabolites in both species demonstrate the rich content of many useful biochemicals like pharmaceuticals, flavors, fragrances, agricultural chemicals etc. However, higher quantities in B. serrata indicates its richness in medicinal properties over W. tinctoria.
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