Propriedades fungicida e antioxidante de extratos vegetais
Takao, Leandro Kenji
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The Brazilian savanna holds the richest flora among the tropical savannas, being one of the hot spots for conservation of the biodiversity in the world. However, the chemical potential of its plant species is still underused while deforestation and loss of biodiversity are main issues. In the Brazilian savanna, plants are exposed to environmental pressures (competition, pathogens, drought, injurious UV radiation, etc) that may stimulate the production of secondary metabolites as a defense. These compounds can generally be explored due to their biological properties. The aim of this study was to assess the fungicidal and antioxidant properties of plants from the Brazilian savanna. First a screening was conducted with ethanolic leaf extracts of 28 plant species. There was no activity against Alternaria alternata, a filamentous fungi that causes one of the most severe diseases in tangerines (Alternaria brown spot disease). However, the same extracts presented a high antioxidant potential associated with the phenolic content. Other investigations were made using infusion extractions focusing on the Myrtaceae family, one of the most abundant families of plants in the Brazilian savanna. Most species also presented high antioxidant activity and phenolic content. At last, the extraction of piceid, a compound with high antioxidant activity, was optimized from roots of Psidium laruotteanum. A response surface methodology was applied to assess the influence of solvent, pH, amplitude, cycle, temperature and solvent-solid ratio using an ultrasound extraction. A high amount of piceid was extracted and Psidium laruotteanum root was found to be the most concentrated source of this compound reported up to date. These results point the plant species from the Brazilian savanna as an important source of bioactive compounds, emphasizing the need to preserve and study its biodiversity.