David M. Nyaga, Paul K. Kamweru
Abstract: The global wealth of plant species range between 400, 000-500, 000. However, only a small percentage of species have been phytochemically investigated. The fraction that has so far been subjected to biological or pharmacological screening is even smaller. This scenario presents a huge knowledge gap and underutilization of modern technologies for bioprospection leading to overexploitation of a narrow range of plant species to provide mankind with secondary metabolites for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food additives and many other modern applications. The ATR- FTIR spectra of various tissues (leaf, bark and stem) of Cassia siamea used in this experiment have revealed presence of a wide range of biochemical compounds with pharmaceutical importance. Apart from presence of main primary metabolites such as protein, carbohydrate and lignin, there was abundance of Anthraquinone, saponins, and cassiarins in all the plant tissues sampled. Differences in other components present in the sampled tissues was noted as follows, limone and bicyclic monoterpenes were detected in the leaf while tetraterpenes, monoterpenes and pectin were conspicuously present in the bark and stem samples. In conclusion this studies therefore, reveal that Cassia siamea is a plant with great potential of some active biocomponents with therapeutic capacity.
Keywords: Cassia siamea, bioprospection, FTIR, biochemical, tissue