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Comparative Study on Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Activity of Different Solvent Extracts of Pinattu

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Abstract. Palmyrah (Borassus flabellifer) fruit is mostly used as fresh fruit, because of its perishable nature it is traditionally preserved as dried fruit pulp as pinattu and constituents of crude extracts of pinattu were evaluated. Samples were collected from three different branches of Palmyrah Development Board and extracted with different solvents as aqueous, methanol, ethyl acetate and petroleum ether and concentrated extracts were used for the study. Alkaloids and tannins were not detectable in all the extracts while aqueous and methanol extracts gave positive results for carbohydrates, proteins, phytosterols, saponins, flavonoids, phenols and amino acids and fats and fixed oils. Spectroscopic determination of total phenolic, flavonoids and saponin content were significantly (p<0.05) different among the solvents and the highest amount was identified, in aqueous extract (19.92±0.5)mg/g, methanol extract (0.18±0.0)mg/g and methanol extract (509.88±4.18)mg/g respectively. Based on their diameter of the zone of inhibition least MIC of aqueous extract for Staphylococcus (1.4±0.1cm), E.coli (1.2±0.0cm), Pseudomonas (1±0.0cm) and methanol extract for E.coli (1.4±0.1cm) and Pseudomonas (1.1±0.00cm) was 0.5mg/ml. The Salmonella and Bacillus was showed 0.75mg/ml for aqueous extract while 0.25 and 1.0mg/ml for methanolic extract respectively. Klebsiella was showed 0.25mg/ml for both aqueous extract (1.1±0.0cm) and methanol extract (1.35±0.0cm). Highest inhibition zone was observed for 1 mg/ml of aqueous extract (2.15±0.2cm) in Protease when compared with positive control (1.9±0.1cm). This finding shows that crude aqueous and methanol extract of pinattu contains high amount of phytochemicals, exhibit significant antibacterial activity with relatively lower MIC (≤ 1mg/ml) when compared with ethyl acetate and petroleum extracts.

Keywords: Antibacterial activity, Pinattu, Phytochemicals, Saponin and Solvents

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Socio-Economic Importance, Abundance and Phytochemistry of Jateorhiza palmata (Lam.) Miers a Medicinal Plant in Nsanje, Malawi

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Abstract. Jateorhiza palmata (Lam.) Miers is a plant of high commercial value at national and international spheres. This study was conducted to determine the socio-economic importance, abundance and phytochemistry of J. palmata in Matandwe Forest Reserve, Nsanje, Malawi. The study revealed eight traditional medicinal uses of J. palmata roots. These include: de-worming; treat abdominal pains; fontanelle; hydrocele; heals wounds; stops vomiting; anti-snake bite; and increases male prowess. Communities earn income ranging US$17.71 to US$206.48 per annum. The phytochemical composition of roots constituted of saponins, tannins, anthocyanins and terpenoids. The chemical composition varied amongst sites. This is an area that requires further studies to establish the cause of chemical differences. The density of J. palmata was 15±5 plants per hectare which translate into 52.7 kg of merchantable dry product. Approximately 60 tonnes of dry root products are traded from the area annually. This indicates that about 1138.5 hectares of the reserve is required to sustain trade annually. The wild population cannot sustain current demand. Thus, there is need to investigate silvicultural techniques that could promote domestication. Further research in value addition should be conducted to promote commercialization that can facilitate improved livelihood of rural people. Furthermore, these findings are of great use to pharmaceutical industries for the development of new antimicrobial drugs to address unmet therapeutic needs.

Keywords: abundance, commercialization, domestication, Jateorhiza palmata, phytochemistry

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Farming Households’ Environment, Nutrition and Health Interplay in Southwest, Nigeria

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Abstract. The pervasive implication of environmental and socio-economic challenge(s) poses serious threat to nutritionalhealth and agricultural sustainability in Nigeria. This study adopts the UNICEF’s conceptual framework of undernutrition to investigate factors influencing farming households’ nutrition and the determinants of health status in the Southwestern part of Nigeria. The results presented here relied on data collected on households’ environmental, socio-economic, nutrition and health profile through multistage random sampling of 450 households selected from the Southwest geopolitical zone of Nigeria using well-structured questionnaires, out of which 420 with complete information was carefully selected and used. Descriptive statistics {percentage, frequency, mean}, anthropometric measure {Households’ Dietary Diversity Scores {HDDS}} and inferential statistics {Poisson Regression and Logistic regression model} were used for the data analysis. The result shows that the farmers were ageing, given an average highest age of farmers in Oyo state (54.60 ±11.30 years) with highest average years of farming experience (19.57± 13.04) in Osun state while the average years of schooling were highest in Ogun state (10.28 ± 5.18 years).No waste removal (27.86%), littering (21.90%) and land degradation (21.67%) were the most identified environmental problems by the farmers. Furthermore, Poisson regression model was fitted to determine factors influencing farming households’ nutrition status and it produced a good fit while Logistic model indicates the determinants of health. It was concluded that socio economic and environmental factors contributes to households’ nutrition and health status in the study area. Promotion of informal nutrition and environmental-health education among farmers for sustainable agricultural system was recommended among others.

Keywords: Environment, health, Logistic regression, nutrition, Poisson regression, socio-economic

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Growth, Nutrient Uptake and Dry Matter Yield of Maize (Zea Mays L) Grown in Soil Amended with Rice Husk and Sawdust Biochar

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Abstract. The science of modern biochar for soil management and climate change mitigation is a relatively recent development and has gained increasing attention over the past few years. Experiments to assess the potential of rice husk and sawdust biochar were conducted in 2014 to improve the growth, nutrient uptake and dry matter yield of maize. The treatments were 0, 60, 120 g of rice husk and sawdust biochar. Results showed that rice husk and sawdust biochar had a significant effect on growth, leave area and biomass. In both trials, rice husk and sawdust biochar applied at 120 g/pot was significantly (P = 0.05) better in promoting growth (44.61 - 24.17 cm) and (45.02 - 24.76 cm); leave area (262.78 – 138.42 cm) and (269.24 – 140.34 cm) and biomass (97.70 - 30.10 g) and (91.52 - 36.31 g). Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium uptake were also significantly influenced by rice husk and sawdust biochar application at both trials. 120 g/pot of rice husk and sawdust biochar produced the highest value of N uptake (5.25 – 0.52 %) and (5.25 - 0.52%); P (50.39 – 47.45 mg/kg) and (48.85 – 48.53 mg/kg) and K (5.25 – 0.54 cmol/kg) and (4.56 – 0.51 cmol/kg) in both trials. Rice husk and sawdust biochar applied at 120 g/pot was significantly higher in promoting dry matter accumulation in maize in both trials. Therefore, application of biochar as soil amendment had positive impact on plant growth with a value addition of acting as carbon sink in the soil, thereby mitigating climate change.

Keywords: Biochar, growth, maize, nutrients, rice husk, sawdust, uptake

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