Original Research

Evaluating the effect of 40% and 0% shading levels on the secondary metabolites, antifungal and anti-insect activities of extracts of Allium porrum cultivated hydroponically under greenhouse conditions

Bulelwa Ntobela, Oluwafemi O. Oguntibeju, Fanie Rautenbach, Ninon G. Etsassala, Enoch A. Akinpelu, Felix Nchu
Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development | Vol 6, No 1 | a144 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jomped.v6i1.144 | © 2022 Bulelwa Ntobela, Oluwafemi O. Oguntibeju, Fanie Rautenbach, Ninon G. Etsassala, Enoch A. Akinpelu, Felix Nchu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2021 | Published: 10 May 2022

About the author(s)

Bulelwa Ntobela, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Oluwafemi O. Oguntibeju, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Fanie Rautenbach, Applied Microbial and Health Biotechnology Institute, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Ninon G. Etsassala, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Enoch A. Akinpelu, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Felix Nchu, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Allium species are generally reputed for their anti-pest properties; however, few studies have focused on optimising the quality and yield of anti-pest bioactive materials from these medicinal plants.

Setting: Laboratory and greenhouse experiments were carried out on the Bellville campus of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town.

Aims: This research study aimed to evaluate the effect of light intensity on the volatile constituents, antifungal and anti-insect activities of extracts obtained from Allium porrum L. cultivated hydroponically under greenhouse conditions.

Methods: Seedlings of A. porrum were hydroponically grown under 40% shading and 0% shading conditions for 12 weeks. The phytochemical constituents of the aerial parts (leaf and bulb) of A. porrum were analysed. The antifungal activity against Fusarium oxysporum and the anti-insect activity on the grapevine mealybug (Planococcus ficus) was evaluated by microdilution and repellency bioassays, respectively.

Results: Remarkably, the total polyphenol content was statistically higher (DF = 1, 6; F = 9.17; p < 0.05) in plants exposed to 40% shade treatment. The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis revealed that the volatile compounds varied significantly (DF = 1; χ 2 = 3.435; p > 0.05) between the two treatments. However, although a higher number of compounds (73) occurred in plants exposed to 40% shade than in those exposed to 0% shade (58), the shading effect on the number of compounds was not significant (DF = 1; χ 2 = 69.551; p > 0.05). The acetone extracts of A. porrum that were cultivated under lower light irradiance showed a higher fungistatic activity against F. oxysporum in the antifungal bioassay.

Conclusion: Broadly, this study revealed that lowering light intensity from 313 μmol m-2 s-1 to 153 μmol m-2 s-1 favoured a higher phenolic content, volatile constituents and higher anti-F. oxysporum activities in leeks.


Keywords

secondary metabolites; anti-Fusarium oxysporum; Allium porrum; Planococcus ficus; insect repellency

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