Background: Gloriosa Superba
produces an array of alkaloids including colchicine, a compound of interest in the treatment of various diseases. The
tuber of Gloriosa superba
is a rich source of colchicine which has shown anti-gout, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor activity. However, this
promising compound remains expensive and Gloriosa superba
is such a good source in global scale. Increase in yield of naturally occurring colchicine
is an important area of investigation.
Materials and Methods:
The effects of inoculation by four arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM), fungi, Glomus mossae
, Glomus fasciculatum
either alone or supplemented with P-fertilizer, on colchicine concentration in Gloriosa superba
were studied. The
concentration of colchicine was determined by high-performance thin layer chromatography.
The four fungi significantly increased concentration of colchicine in the herb. Although there was significant increase in concentration of
colchicine in non-mycorrhizal P-fertilized plants as compared to control, the extent of the increase was less compared to mycorrhizal plants grown
with or without P-fertilization. This suggests that the increase in colchicine concentration may not be entirely attributed to enhanced P-nutrition and
improved growth. Among the four AM fungi Glomus mossae
was found to be best. The total colchicine content of plant (mg / plant) was significantly
high in plants inoculated with Glomus mossae
and 25 mg kg-1
phosphorus fertilizer (348.9 mg /plant) while the control contain least colchicine
(177.87 mg / plant).
The study suggests a potential role of AM fungi in improving the concentration of colchicine in Gloriosa superba