Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Eberechukwu Ugorji - Bowie State University
Co-Author(s): Richard Mulwa, Egerton Univerity, Njoro, Kenya; Anne Osano, Bowie State University, Maryland, USA
The spider plant is an indigenous vegetable grown throughout the varying regions of Kenya. While this plant is rich in nutrients, it also contains anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients are compounds that may have adverse effects on the health of an individual. The objective of this research was to determine if environmental factors such as altitude, temperature, and/or average rainfall have an effect on the level of two anti-nutrients, tannins and alkaloids. Spider plant samples were collected from 19 different regions in Kenya that varied in altitude, temperature, and average rainfall. A spectrophotometric procedure was used to determine the levels of tannins in 20 ecotypes of the spider plant. A gravimetric procedure was used to determine the levels of alkaloids in the same 20 spider plant samples. For tannins, the average concentration readings ranged from .89 to .10 mg catechin ml-1. The alkaloids results ranged from .562 to .09 grams of alkaloid per 2 grams of the spider plant sample. While there was no correlation between the levels of tannins or alkaloids and altitude, temperature, or average rainfall, the levels of both anti-nutrients varied between the ecotypes. Further research can be done to determine if the cause of the variance is due to a genetic factor or an environmental factor.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation
Faculty Advisor: Anne Osano, email@example.com
Role: I helped milled the samples as well as performed the tests for alkaloids and tannins in the spider plant samples.