Preliminary Phytochemical Analysis of Methanol and Chloroform Extracts of Crude Whole Plant and Dried Callus cultures of Munronia pinnata
Munronia pinnata (Meliacea) is considered as an endangered plant in Sri Lanka due to over exploitation of wild populations for medicinal purposes. Propagation through seeds is a rather difficult task and there is no program for its large-scale cultivation. Therefore the market value of this is high in Sri Lanka. Hence, there is an urgent need to adopt ex situ conservation methods via in vitro propagation techniques. Due to this, in vitro propagation of Munronia pinnata has gained much attention at present [1, 2]. This study is based on the investigation of preliminary phytochemical analysis of natural plants and callus cultures of M. pinnata. Methanol and chloroform extracts of crude powder and callus cultures of M. pinnata were analyzed by Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC). Both methanol and chloroform extracts gave positive results for terpenoids, and negative results for alkaloids. It was observed that there are three chemical compounds with similar Rf for both extracts in different combinations of the solvent system. Tetranor triterpenoids, triterpenoids and musinisins have been reported on M. delavayi, M. henryi and M. sinica in China  and they are described as synonyms for M. pinnata in Flora of China . To date no chemical research has been done about crude whole plant and dried callus cultures of Munronia pinnata. These terpenoids were further analyzed in order to characterize the nature of the compounds. Acknowledgements: University of Grant commission, Sri Lanka for Research Grants- 2008, The National Center for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (NCAS), Sri Lanka. The authors are thankful to NCNPR, UM, USA for supportive assistance to laboratory training for this research project. References:  Senerath WTPSK, Chandrasena KGPH, Fernando KMEP (2007)J Nat Sci Found of Sri Lanka, 35(3): 181 – 190.  Hirimburegama K, Seneviratne AS, et al. (1994)J Nat Sci Found of Sri Lanka, 22(3): 253 – 260.  Xiao LL, Zhang QX, et al. (2012) Nat Prod Bioprospect, 2: 76 – 80.  Lian HDZY (2008) Flora of China, 11: 118 – 119.