Bioassay of Euphorbia Plant Extracts on Brine Shrimp (Artemia Salina)
Authors:Fonter Loera, Vanessa Machuca, Lavan Rajan
Mentor:Manjula Gunawardana , Senior Research Scientist, Oak Crest Institute of Science
Deriving pharmaceuticals to cure diseases involves a multi-step process that begins with the isolation and screening of potential sources for compounds to be used as the pharmaceutical. One such source may be found in the plant family Euphorbiaceae – which includes 300 genera and 5000 species common to the tropics and subtropics where these plants are used to treat gonorrhea, migraines, and numerous other ailments. We designed a high-throughput screening bioassay with Brine Shrimp (Artemia salina) to test the potency of compounds extracted from Euphorbiaceae. To our knowledge, Euphorbia have never been screened as a potential pharmaceutical agent against a live organism of as high a classification as Artemia salina previously. A total of 147 compounds were tested. Observation of affected Brine Shrimp - characterized by cessation of mobility and mortality - was used to quantify the number of affected shrimp for each compound. Assays were performed in triplicates with observations up to 8.0 hours. The percentage of shrimp affected by the dose of plant extract was indicative of the potency of the compound screened. 13% of the compounds screened resulted in 50% or more of the Brine Shrimp being affected. Results indicate that these plant extracts do indeed have biochemical activity as potential pharmaceuticals and that further screening and analysis should be undertaken.