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Effect of some abiotic factors on the concentration of β- sitosterol of Prunus Africana (Hook.f.) Kalkman in the tropical forests of Cameroon

Maurice Tchouakionie, Emmanuel Youmbi, Michel Ndoumbe Nkeng, Siméon Fogue Kouam, Marc Lamshôft, Michael Spiteller

Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology and Environment, Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde I, P.O. Box: 812 Yaounde, Cameroon

Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde I, P.O. Box: 812 Yaounde. Cameroon

Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) Yaounde. P.O. Box: 2123 Yaounde,

Department of Chemistry, Higher Teachers’ Training College, University of Yaounde 1, P.O. Box 47 Yaounde, Cameroon

Institute of Environmental Research (INFU), Department of Chemistry and Biology, Chair of Environmental Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry, TU Dortmund Otto-Haln-Sir 6 D-14221 Dortmund, Germany

Key words: Prunus africana, phenotypic character, soils, β-sitosterol, altitude.


Prunus 2Prunus africana is a medicinal plant which develops in the mountains of several African countries. β-sitosterol can be used as a marker for the control of the product quality of the aforementioned plant in terms of phytotherapy. Farmers and public authorities do not have information on the influence of altitude and chemical characteristics of soils on the concentration of β- sitosterol of P. africana. To contribute to solve the problem, this research, carried out in Cameroon, aims to appreciate the effect of abiotic factors on the above phenotypic character. In nine composite samples of barks taken at different altitudes, the concentration of β-sitosterol is appreciated via qualitative analyses by Thin Layer Chromatography, High Performance Liquid Chromatography and quantitative analyses by Gas Chromatography coupled with the Mass Spectrometry. The chemical analyses of soils taken under the stems of the aforementioned trees were made. The statistics were carried out using the SAS software. The concentration of β-sitosterol in each population of P. africana varies from zero to 38.65 μg/ml. There is variability between the averages of the aforementioned concentration with respect to altitude and chemical elements of the soils but the differences are not significant. The Ascending Hierarchical Clustering distributes populations into three groups. These tools obtained are indispensable for the ground management, the products exploited from this tree species and the production of seeds for creating forest and agro-forest plantations.

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