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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 171-177

Anatomical and phytochemical characterization of Physalis angulata L.: A plant with therapeutic potential


1 Bahian School of Medicine and Public Health, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
2 Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
3 Biology Institute, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
4 Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
5 Bahian School of Medicine and Public Health; Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Léa Maria dos Santos Lopes Ferreira
Av. Dom João Vi, No. 275, Brotas, Salvador, Bahia
Brazil
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/pr.pr_97_18

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Background: Physalis angulata L. is widely used in folk medicine. Secondary metabolites with pharmacological potential, including physalins that exhibit anti-inflammatory/immunomodulatory and antiparasitic activities, have been identified in this specie. To date, few studies have investigated storage sites for secondary metabolites in P. angulata. Objective: The objective of the study is to characterize the anatomical structures and determine the phytochemical composition of the vegetative organs of P. angulata. Materials and Methods: Electron and conventional optical microscopy was used for the anatomical characterization of P angulata organs (leaves, roots, stems, and fruits). Methanolic extracts from leaves, roots, stems, and fruits were chemically characterized for the presence of steroids, terpenoids, tannins, alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, anthraquinones, coumarins, and phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds, flavonoid contents, and antioxidant capacity of these extracts were determined by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl-free radical scavenging activity. Results: Abaxial leaf stomata were more abundant than the adaxial stomata. Trichomes were more abundant along veins in the petioles and stems, beyond the margin in the sepals and petals, and dispersed in the ovary. Steroids and terpenoids were present in leaves, stems, and fruits of P. angulata. Saponins were exclusive to fruits. Phytochemical screening did not detect flavonoids, anthraquinones, and alkaloids in all tested plant parts. The highest antioxidant capacities were identified in leaf and fruit extracts, possibly due to the presence of phenolic compounds in these organs. Conclusion: This study describes anatomical and biochemical features from P angulata that will assist in future phytochemistry and pharmacological studies, particularly pointing toward organs abundant in antioxidants (leaves and fruits) and steroids (possibly physalins; leaves).


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