SEASONAL VARIATIONS IN ESSENTIAL TRACE ELEMENTAL STATUS OF SOLANUM NIGRUM L. COLLECTED FROM MOUNTAINOUS RANGE OF PAKISTAN
Ayesha Siddiqui, Mumtaz Hussain, Mansoor Hameed, Rashid Ahmad
Neglected and under-utilized plants could be a worthwhile substitute to the present-day crops. Many such species are well reported in literature being consumed by aborigines to overcome nutritional deficiencies. Solanum nigrum L. (Mako) is a wild herbaceous plant from family Solanaceae and is abundantly found in mountainous and sub-tropical areas of the Punjab, Pakistan. It has promising nutritive values and is adaptive to wide climatic conditions. However, environmental variations such as seasonal rainfall, fluctuations in temperature and soil pH can severely affect the uptake of trace elements from soil. Hence, current study was conducted to evaluate seasonal variations in essential trace elements of Mako plant. Biological triplicates of Mako plant were collected from Soone Valley during both seasons. Samples were subjected to spectrophotometry techniques to evaluate essential trace elements viz., Fe, Co, Cu, Mn and Zn in leaves, berries and root samples. Results showed significant variations in nutritional potential of plant parts during both seasons. Co, Cu and Mn contents in all plant parts were found higher during winter season as compared to contents measured during summer season. Fe contents showed abnormal behavior regarding accumulation in different plant parts. It was found maximum in leaves and root during winter season despite bearing the fact that alkaline pH limits Fe uptake and mobility. Zn content were found maximum in berries and leaves during summer season. Conclusively, it can be stated that Solanum nigrum L. possess good quantities of essential trace elements that fluctuate under different environmental conditions. Therefore, determination of elemental status of Solanum nigrum L. plant is recommended before utilizing its therapeutic potential to overcome certain nutrient’s deficiency.
Nutrition, Solanum nigrum L., elemental composition, edible plant