Agricultural Science Digest

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Agricultural Science Digest, volume 42 issue 4 (august 2022) : 468-471

Could the Three Be Edible and Natural Sources of Levodopa? Morphological Characterization of Three Taxa of Mucuna (Fabaceae) in Ebonyi State, Southeastern Nigeria

O.E. Nwankwo, S.A. Odewo, B.A. Ajani, L.T. Soyewo, M.S. Nwefuru
1Department of Applied Biology, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki Nigeria.
Cite article:- Nwankwo O.E., Odewo S.A., Ajani B.A., Soyewo L.T., Nwefuru M.S. (2022). Could the Three Be Edible and Natural Sources of Levodopa? Morphological Characterization of Three Taxa of Mucuna (Fabaceae) in Ebonyi State, Southeastern Nigeria. Agricultural Science Digest. 42(4): 468-471. doi: 10.18805/ag.D-320.
Background: There were reports that M. pruriens was edible and natural source of Levodopa used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, but the identity of the variety used for the treatment is uncertain. Hence, the present study is important to provide their diagnostic characters for further studies by prospective researchers. 
Methods: The qualitative study was carried out by observing and recording the features of the taxa while the quantitative was obtained as the leaflet length and width were measured using a metre rule. From each specimen, leaves were randomly selected and measured using metre rule. Standard methods were used in this study.
Result: The three taxa possess trifoliate leaves in common and the flower colours are as follows: Yellow in M. flagellipes, purple in M. puriens var. pruriens and white in M. pruriens var. utilis. Testa colours are black, black and white in the M. flagellipes, M. pruriens var. pruriens and M. pruriens var. utilis, respectively. The highest average leaflet length was 17.5 recorded in M. pruriens var. pruriens while the lowest average leaflet length of 8.4 was recorded in M. pruriens var. utilis. The three taxa could be eaten based on review. Petal and testa colour could be used to distinguish the taxa studied.

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