|Year : 2023 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 1-10
Comparative macro-microscopic studies of three wild Solanum species (S. melongena L., S. incanum L. and S. virginianum L.)
Narayanan Kannan1, Divya Kallingil Gopi2, Sathish Kumar Shanmugam1, Sunil Kumar Koppala Narayana2, Abdul Kader Shamsudin1
1 Department of Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology, Presidency College (Autonomous), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Pharmacognosy, Siddha Central Research Institute (CCRS, Ministry of Ayush, Govt. of India), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Submission||19-Jun-2023|
|Date of Acceptance||10-Jul-2023|
|Date of Web Publication||29-Aug-2023|
Sunil Kumar Koppala Narayana
Department of Pharmacognosy, Siddha Central Research Institute (CCRS, Ministry of Ayush, Govt. of India), Chennai - 600 106, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: The traditional medicinal system comprises the usage of innumerable plant species for the treatment of various ailments. Solanum, a potent medicinal genus, finds vast description in the various traditional medicinal systems world over. The effectiveness of a herbal drug relies on the usage of correct botanical sources. In this scenario of growing importance of traditional medicines and excessive loss of habitats of various medicinal plants, the procurement of genuine herbals is a challenging issue. Many related species of Solanum distributed over the world find their usage in many medicinal preparations, but the authenticity of the herbals is not promised. The identification and standardization of crude herbal drugs can be assured by the definite morphological and anatomical characterization. Materials and Methods: Macroscopical characters of all three samples collected from Attur Chat village in Salem district were observed and recorded using Nikon Digital camera D5600 and ZEISS Discovery V8 stereo microscope. The samples were preserved in formalin acetic acid, free hand sectioning was done to reveal the anatomy, and photographs were taken using Axiolab 5 trinocular microscope fitted with Axiocam 208 camera. Results: Macro-microscopic features of three important Solanum species viz S. melongena L., S. incanum L., and S. virginianum L. were characterized by morphology and anatomy studies. The stem was terete (S. incanum), flattened (S. melongena), and cylindrical (S. virginianum) in the species. The leaves were large and elliptic in S. melongena, simple ovate in S. incanum, and ovate and brittle in S. virginianum. Anatomically in the stem of S. virginianum, glandular trichomes were observed, which were absent in the other two species. In the case of leaves, the trichome type and density were varying in the three species, and trichomes were present only in the midrib of S. melongena. Variations observed in petiole and fruits were also recorded. Conclusion: The macro-microscopic characterization carried out will be worthwhile in judging the authenticity of the plants and differentiating these species from one another.
Keywords: Macro microscopy, microsphenoidal crystal, nightshade, Solanaceae, stellate trichome, wild Solanum
|How to cite this article:|
Kannan N, Gopi DK, Shanmugam SK, Koppala Narayana SK, Shamsudin AK. Comparative macro-microscopic studies of three wild Solanum species (S. melongena L., S. incanum L. and S. virginianum L.). J Res Siddha Med 2023;6:1-10
|How to cite this URL:|
Kannan N, Gopi DK, Shanmugam SK, Koppala Narayana SK, Shamsudin AK. Comparative macro-microscopic studies of three wild Solanum species (S. melongena L., S. incanum L. and S. virginianum L.). J Res Siddha Med [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 3];6:1-10. Available from: http://www.jrsm.in/text.asp?2023/6/1/1/384581
| Introduction|| |
Solanaceae is one of the important families of angiosperm with pantropical distribution, particularly in the tropics, and is bestowed with enormous, economical, ethnobotanical, and floristic properties represented by around 1250 - 1700 species.,Solanum L. is the largest genus in Solanaceae and one of the 10 most species-rich genera of Angiosperms. Represented by the type genus Solanum L., various species possess diverse habitat variations from annual herbs to perennial shrubs and rarely scrambling trees. Various species of this family are commonly used as food such as S. tuberosum L. and S. melongena L., and many are used in medicine. The majority of the Solanum species are widely used in folk medicine. The plants from this family are recognized for possessing a diverse range of alkaloid molecules. The diverse species of this genus are sturdy, requiring less maintenance, and give good produce as they are resistant to biotic and abiotic stress.
S. melongena L. is a prickly herbaceous armed rarely unarmed plant seen cultivated all over India for its edible fruits.S. incanum - S. melongena complex is composed of wild, domesticated, and semidomesticated plants.S. melongena is placed under the category of armed Solanum and has originated from their wild relatives from Africa and distributed in the wild. The plant shows marked removal of cholesterol actions due to the presence of magnesium and potassium, and the leaves and fruits are used for decreasing the cholesterol level in blood. Leaves and fruits are also commonly used in cholera, asthma, bronchitis, dysuria, and fever. There are many pharmacological activities attributed to this species. The dried fruit is reported to contain goitrogenic principle, and the seeds are used as a stimulant. The leaves of this plant show analgesic activity, central nervous system depressant as well as antipyretic activities., The plant also shows anti-inflammatory, antiasthmatic, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and spasmogenic activities. The plant possesses antiandrogenic, cardioinhibitory, anti-inflammatory activities.
S. incanum L. is a branched prickly shrub with stout prickles and is densely clothed by soft stellate hairs. The plant is used for the treatment of sore throat, toothaches, pneumonia, liver disorders, rheumatism, and mensuration pains. The root, leaves, and fruits are used in the treatment of benign tumors, inflammations, rashes, warts, burns, and carbuncles. There are many pharmacological activities attributed to the plant. The plant is credited with antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, analgesic, antipyretic, antinociceptive, anorexic, hypoglycemic, antihyperlipidemic, spasmolytic properties, and insect-repellant activities.,,
S. virginianum L. is a very spiny diffuse herb commonly seen and distributed throughout India. The plant is used for curing burning sensations in feet, relieving pains, asthma, cough, sore throat, blood pressure, and toothache. The plant is of highly ethnobotanical importance and is used as a tonic for lactating mothers, hernia, and treatments for diabetes mellitus,, throat infection, cough, dropsy, and leprosy. Pandey et al. have reported the usage of this plant in the treatment of tooth disorders, pus formation, and gum swellings, whereas Rahman et al. have reported its usage in curing cough and asthma.
Different species of Solanum pose confusion in identification due to gross similarities. Macro-microscopic keys are useful in the identification of species when floral characters are missing in the specimen. In this study, the above-described three species of Solanum such as S. melongena L., S. incanum L., and S. virginianum L., which are commonly distributed in Tamil Nadu, are selected for macro-microscopic characterization. The current study was taken up to compare and characterizes them as they are medicinally important species.
| Materials and methods|| |
Collection and authentication
The three samples of Solanum were collected from Attur Chat village (Lat: 11.6775; Long: 78.5817) located in the reserve forest of Salem district, Tamil Nadu, during the month of March 2022. The collected samples were authenticated at the Department of Pharmacognosy, SCRI, Chennai.
Processing of samples
Different parts of the species were preserved in the formalin acetic acid (FAA) (5:5:90) solution for anatomical study.
Macroscopical characters were observed and recorded using the Nikon Digital Camera D5600, Thailand and ZEISS Stereo Discovery V8 microscope, Germany.
The samples were preserved in FAA and free-hand sections were taken to reveal the anatomy in transverse section (TS). The sections were photographed using Axiocam 208 Color camera attached to Axiolab 5 trinocular microscope under bright field light. Observations were recorded and magnifications were indicated by scale bars.
| Results|| |
Organoleptic characters and macromorphology of the studied samples are summarised in [Table 1] and [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].
|Table 1: Macromorphological characters of dried parts of three wild species of Solanum|
Click here to view
The microscopic details of stem, leaf, and fruit of the selected species were documented to reveal the key distinguishing characters.
S. melongena L.
TS of young stem shows a single layer of epidermis covered with cuticle, cortex occupies one-third of the section, consists of collenchymatous cells followed by a few parenchymatous cells embedded with microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate, underneath cortex there is discontinuous group of pericyclic fibers followed by narrow collapsed phloem; xylem consists of mostly isolated vessels and rarely grouped, medullary rays mostly uniseriate rarely biseriate, group of fibers intercepted by inner phloem, round to oval parenchymatous pith embedded with microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate present at the center [Table 2] and [[Figure 3]a].
|Table 2: Microscopic characterization of stem of three wild species of Solanum|
Click here to view
S. incanum L.
TS of the young stem shows a single layer of epidermis covered with thick cuticle, cortex occupies one-third of the section, consists of collenchymatous cells followed by a thin-walled parenchyma, a few cells fully loaded with microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate, underneath discontinuous group of pericyclic fibers followed by narrow collapsed phloem; xylem consists of isolated vessels and grouped, xylem rays uniseriate, group of fibers intercepted by inner phloem, central round to oval parenchymatous pith embedded with microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate [Table 2] and [[Figure 3]b].
S. virginianum L.
TS of young stem shows a layer of epidermis possessing a few simple clavate trichomes and a few embedded stomata. In older stems, trichomes get detached from the surface and the epidermis is replaced by 5 - 10 rows of suberized cork, collenchymatous narrow band of hypodermis lying underneath the epidermis of young stem occasionally persists in older stem also. A wide zone of parenchymatous cortex and a layer of endodermis are occasionally seen followed by a band of pericyclic fibers. Phloem consists of sieve tissue, phloem parenchyma, and uni to biseriate medullary rays in continuation with that of xylem, cambium is distinct, xylem wide, shows isolated and radially arranged xylem vessels, thin-walled fibers, parenchyma and medullary rays; inner phloem is distinct well-developed, shows almost continuous band, followed by isolated or groups of perimedullary thin-walled fibers; and pith is parenchymatous gets disintegrated in the older stem forming centrally located hollow pith, simple starch grains are embedded throughout the parenchymatous cells of the section [Table 2] and [[Figure 3]c].
S. melongena L.
Petiole: TS of petiole is circular in outline, a single layer of epidermis covered with a few clavate glandular trichomes and plenty of stellate trichomes, the hypodermis collenchymatous; and ground tissue parenchymatous, embedded with microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate and crescent-shaped bicollateral vascular bundle [Table 3] and [[Figure 4]a].
|Table 3: Microscopic characterization of the leaf of three wild species of Solanum|
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Lamina: TS of leaf passing through the midrib, shows a layer of upper and lower epidermises embedded with stomata and shows stellate trichomes with unicellular short stalk, midrib shows 2 - 3 rows of collenchymatous band underneath both the epidermis and centrally located arc of bicollateral meristele embedded in the parenchymatous ground tissue, lamina is dorsiventral, shows a single layer of upper and lower epidermis covered with stellate and glandular trichomes, exhibiting a layer of palisade underneath the upper epidermis, followed by spongy parenchyma, and a few parenchyma cells embedded with microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate and vascular bundle [Table 3] and [[Figure 5]a].
S. incanum L.
Petiole: TS of petiole is irregularly circular in outline, a single layer of epidermis is covered with a few clavate glandular trichomes and plenty of stellate trichomes with short or long multicellular and multiseriate stalk; a thick wall of collenchymatous layer followed by ground parenchymatous tissue embedded with microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate, and at the center, there is a crescent-shaped bicollateral vascular bundle [Table 3] and [[Figure 4]b].
Lamina: TS of leaf passing through the midrib shows collenchymatous tissue under both the epidermis and parenchymatous ground tissue. The upper and lower epidermis bears many short and long multicellular stellate trichomes; the centrally located arc of bicollateral meristele embedded in the parenchymatous ground tissue, lamina is dorsiventral, exhibits a layer of palisade underneath the upper epidermis, followed by spongy parenchyma, and the parenchyma is embedded with microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate [Table 3] and [[Figure 5]b].
S. virginianum L.
Petiole: TS of the petiole is planoconvex or occasionally concavo convex in outline with two laterally placed narrow winged projections on its upper side; each embedded with a small rudimentary meristele; shows wide parenchymatous ground tissue embedded with; an arc of bicollateral meristele identical to that of lamina and microsphenoidal crystals of calcium oxalate throughout the parenchymatous tissue of the section; and narrow collenchymatous hypodermal tissue lies underneath the epidermis and embedded with stomata and bears trichomes identical to that of the lamina [Table 3] and [[Figure 4]c].
Lamina: TS shows a layer of upper and lower epidermises embedded with stomata and bear stellate trichomes with unicellular short stalk. Midrib shows 4–5 rows of collenchymatous band underneath both the epidermis and centrally located arc of bicollateral meristele embedded in the parenchymatous ground tissue; and lamina shows a row of palisade underneath the upper epidermis and 4–6 rows of spongy parenchymatous tissue traversed with vascular strands. Microsphenoidal crystals are embedded throughout the parenchymatous cells of the leaf [Table 3] and [[Figure 5]c].
The fruits of all three species are simple berries with indehiscent pericarp, and numerous seeds embedded in a solid fleshy mass of mesocarp supported by a very thin exocarp.
Longitudinal section (LS) of fruit shows persistent calyx with few thorns and a long pedicel [[Figure 6]a]. TS of fruit shows outer yellowish orange layer of epicarp, followed by mucilaginous pulp forming the mesocarp, and a centrally located bicarpellary swollen placenta studded with numerous seeds; and the TS shows a centrally placed placenta, which is covered by a continuous thin endocarp [[Figure 7]a].
LS of fruit shows persistent calyx and long pedicel with few thorns [[Figure 6]b]. TS of fruit shows an outer dark yellowish layer of epicarp, followed by mesocarp made up of mucilaginous pulp, and a centrally located bicarpellary placenta studded with numerous seeds; and the TS is larger in size compared with S. melongena, and S. virginianum shows a centrally placed placenta, which is covered by a thick endocarp [[Figure 7]b].
LS of fruit shows persistent calyx and pedicel with numerous thorns, outer yellowish layer of epicarp, followed by mucilaginous pulp forming the mesocarp, and a centrally located bicarpellary placenta studded with numerous seeds [[Figure 6]c]; and the TS shows a centrally placed placenta, which is covered by a continuous thick endocarp [[Figure 7]c].
| Discussion|| |
The genus Solanum is a promising source of food all over the world. The medicinal properties attributed to the various species add to the importance of this genus. Solanaceae members commonly called the black nightshades are a complex group of herbs and shrubs, which possess a high range of complexity taxonomically. The correct identification of species is the foremost important step since a lot many Solanales are reported to be toxic owing to the presence of many harmful chemical constituents.
The three species of Solanum undertaken for the study are extensively used in traditional medicine and possess several pharmacological properties., The previous study of Okeke Philomena et al. on S. melongena is in accordance with the present study showing similar characters in the aerial parts. Metcalfe and Chalk have described the crystals as the unifying character of the Solanum genus and in all three species crystals were reported only with slight variations in their abundance with S. virginianum having the maximum amount. Previously, only the anatomical studies on S. virginianum leaves have been performed and no works have been carried out on S. incanum with respect to the pharmacognostic approach. The three species resemble morphologically to one another. The Internodal their support length and nature of fracture of the stem can be used as distinguishing characters since anatomically we could observe only meager variations. With respect to leaves, S. virginianum is entirely different with dense sharp prickly thorns, which were absent in both S. melongena and S. incanum. S. melongena and S. incanum had stout prickles with varying densities. The presence of stellate trichomes on the midrib of S. melongena as observed in the anatomical section is a key distinguishing character. The fruits of the three species also differed in the size, shape, and density of thorns on the calyx and pedicel with the highest number observed in S. virginianum.
| Conclusion|| |
The three medicinally important wild species of Solanum were subjected to the macro microscopic profiling and inter specific variations were documented. The study helps to clearly identify and demarcate the morphologically similar species from each other. Thus the database produced on the aerial parts of the Solanum species will prove to be exhaustive reference material for future studies.
The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. P. Elankani, In-charge, SCRI, and Prof. Dr. R. Meenakumari, DG (Addl. Charge), CCRS, for their support.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]