4 MMSU research studies featured in the ASEAN confab

September 17, 2023


The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) made a significant mark at the first ASEAN Conference on Medicinal Forest Trees held on September 5-7, 2023, in Clark, Pampanga, as four of its research studies were presented at the conference. Three studies were showcased in the poster exhibition and one in the paper presentation.

The main researchers, namely Dr. Dionisio S. Bucao, Research Directorate (RD) director, Ms. Menisa A. Antonio, senior science research specialist, and Ms. Maingeline B. Vivit, education program specialist I, attended the conference and presented their respective research findings.

Dr. Bucao’s poster titled “The impact of soil and climatic factors on the phytochemical composition of anahaw (Saribus rotundifulius (Lam.) Blume shoots, which he co-authored with Ms. Xenia Elica Bucao, showed that the production of phytochemicals in anahaw shoots is affected by various environmental factors such as soil and climate conditions.  Further, phytochemical analyses from anahaw extracts showed the presence of flavonoids, saponins, fixed oils, proteins, and condensed tannins.  The variation of phytochemical properties between extracts was primarily influenced by soil and climatic factors such as organic matter content, soil pH, and rainfall.

Ms. Antonio’s poster “Evaluation of the health potential of Allaeanthus luzonicos  (Blanco) Fern.-Vill and scaling sustainable production strategies” focused on the potential of the Himbabao (Allaeanthus luzonicos) for functional food and medicinal applications.  Its ethanolic extracts are rich in flavonoid, phenol, steroid, terpenoid, saponin, tannin, cardiac glycoside, and coumarin, which accord varied bioactivities such as antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic, among others.  Mass propagation and additional planting are being promoted to sustain inflorescence production.  Ms. Evangeline Galacgac, Engr. Rodel Utrera, Ms. Maingeline Vivit, and Ms. Ma. Concepcion Birginias co-authored the poster.

Ms. Vivit, on the other hand, presented two research showcased in the poster and paper presentation.  Her poster, “Impact of the preparation methods on the phytochemical, antioxidant activity, and antimicrobial activities of selected wild edible plants in Ilocos Norte” featured their findings where steamed A. luzonicus flowers significantly yielded the Total Phenolic Content (TPC) while dried Champereia manillana leaftops had the highest Total Flavonoid Content (TFC).  Ms. Cecil Gaoat and Ms. M. Antonio co-authored the poster. 

Likewise, Ms. Vivit’s paper titled “Phytochemical profiling and assessment of the physicochemical characteristics and in vitro biological activities of Timonius ternifolius (Rubiaceae) leaf extracts” proved that T. ternifolius leaves are promising natural antiaoxidant and alpha-glucosidase inhibitor. This means that it can be developed into functional food and herbal products. Ms. Vivit’s co-authors are RG Batuyong, AF Damian, AB Alejo, KGD Beltran, MA Calaramo, Cecil Gaoat, FV Ibana and MAR Batuyong.

Organized by the Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the conference aimed at providing an avenue for international ASEAN forum to have an exchange of information and sharing of experiences, research results, and updates among scientists, researchers, academe and policymakers. It was participated by delegates from the Philippines, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

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