Parthenium ecosystems in Kenya to the level

Parthenium hysterophorus Linn has been classified as one of the world’s mostserious invasive weeds in Africa, Asia and Australia. From its origins in theSouth and Central American tropics, the weed has spread to significant parts ofKenya causing adverse effects on biodiversity.

Consequently, Parthenium hysterophorus weed has caused huge socio-economic and ecologicalimpacts to ecosystems in Kenya to the level that warrants some control measures.Despite the impacts exerted by this weed on natural agroecosystems in Kenya, itcan be controlled by being utilized as a medicinal plant. Thus, the objectiveof this study will be to determine the genetic diversity, medicinal activitiesand phytochemical profiles of the leaf extracts of P. hysterophorus from different populations in Kenya. Total genomicDNA will be extracted using the modified CTAB method. Genetic diversity will beassessed using ISSR markers. POPGENE version 1.31 software will be used tocalculate genetic diversity parameters: number of polymorphic loci (N), percentageof polymorphic loci (P), Nei’s genediversity (H), Shannon’s diversityindex (I), coefficient of genedifferentiation (Gst) and gene flow (Nm).

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AMOVA will be used topartition the total ISSR variation into within-population and among-populationusing Arlequin version 3.11 software. Nei’s genetic distance and geneticidentity will be used to generate a dendogram using UPGMA cluster analysis. Thein vitro antiplasmodial potential of P. hysterophorus extracts will beassessed against the Indochinese-CQ resistant (W2) and the Sierra LeoneanCQ-sensitive strains of Plasmodiumfalciparum using the semi-automated micro-dilution assay method. The in vivo antimalarial activity will betested against the mouse-infective CQ-sensitive Plasmodium berghei (ANKA strain).

The in vitro cytotoxicity will bedetermined against Vero E6 cells while invivo toxicity will be evaluated on mice through hematological andbiochemical analyses. The in vitro antioxidantactivities will be evaluated using enzymatic and non-enzymatic assays. One-way ANOVAfollowed by Tukey’s HSD test will be used to determine significant differencesin the mean values obtained from different tests and treatment groups (p?0.05). The phytochemical profiles willbe determined using GC-MS method. The outcome of this study will form the basisfor managing P. hysterophorus weed inKenya by strengthening and optimizing its potential utilization as a medicinalplant.



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