Cambridge-Africa

Dr Naalamle Amissah

Dr Naalamle Amissah (University of Ghana)

Research title: Alternative methods of cultivation of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta and Croton membranaceus to maximize active compound production and prevent species extinction in the wild

Research project: Medicinal plants are known to play a vital role in the health care system and economic growth of many developing economies. In Ghana, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta and Croton membranaceus are two examples of plant species widely used in the preparation of phyto‐medicines for the treatment of malaria and prostate cancer.
Unfortunately, like several other medicinal plant species, harvesting is done solely from the wild in non‐sustainable ways, resulting in a marked decline in wild populations. Contrary to the decline observed in wild populations, demand for their roots is increasing.
Conventional propagation protocols (seed, stem and root cuttings) tried are not efficient in producing the quantities required for immediate cultivation. From a previous grant, micropropagation protocols have been established for in vitro propagation of both species. Suitable cytokinin and auxin combinations have been determined for in vitro shoot multiplication and rooting of nodal cuttings in both species and a suitable medium for callus induction determined for C. sanguinolenta. The goal is to optimize protocol variables for secondary metabolite production in vitro as a way of ensuring sustainable bioactive compound production to ease the harvesting pressure on wild populations.

Collaborator: Dr Lesley Boyd, National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Publications: See Naalamle's publications

Contact: jnamissah@ug.edu.gh