Presentation Title

Investigation of Toxic Alkaloids from Native Plants in the Santa Monica Mountains

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-#131

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Alkaloids from plants are commonly used as treatments for many human diseases. Therefore, examining the alkaloid compounds from native plants in the Santa Monica Mountains that have not previously been studied could result in the discovery of compounds with medicinal properties. We hypothesized that the native plant Lupinus albifrons and the invasive plant Nicotiana glauca would contain toxic alkaloids with possible medicinal potential. To evaluate this hypothesis, plants were collected in the Santa Monica Mountains or obtained from a local native plant nursery. Plant extracts were then generated by methanol extraction and the alkaloid components were isolated using an acid-base extraction protocol. The presence of alkaloids was confirmed using Dragendorff reagent and the toxicity of the alkaloid fractions were evaluated using a brine shrimp lethality test. An aliquot of each fraction was added to microplate wells containing 5-10 live brine shrimp in each well; camptothecin was used a positive control. The number of live shrimp were counted after 12 hours to determine the toxicity of each alkaloid fraction. Our results support the presence of toxic alkaloids in these plants but further experiments are needed to evaluate the medicinal potential of these compounds.

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Nov 12th, 4:00 PM Nov 12th, 5:00 PM

Investigation of Toxic Alkaloids from Native Plants in the Santa Monica Mountains

HUB 302-#131

Alkaloids from plants are commonly used as treatments for many human diseases. Therefore, examining the alkaloid compounds from native plants in the Santa Monica Mountains that have not previously been studied could result in the discovery of compounds with medicinal properties. We hypothesized that the native plant Lupinus albifrons and the invasive plant Nicotiana glauca would contain toxic alkaloids with possible medicinal potential. To evaluate this hypothesis, plants were collected in the Santa Monica Mountains or obtained from a local native plant nursery. Plant extracts were then generated by methanol extraction and the alkaloid components were isolated using an acid-base extraction protocol. The presence of alkaloids was confirmed using Dragendorff reagent and the toxicity of the alkaloid fractions were evaluated using a brine shrimp lethality test. An aliquot of each fraction was added to microplate wells containing 5-10 live brine shrimp in each well; camptothecin was used a positive control. The number of live shrimp were counted after 12 hours to determine the toxicity of each alkaloid fraction. Our results support the presence of toxic alkaloids in these plants but further experiments are needed to evaluate the medicinal potential of these compounds.