Pablo Arenaz

Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (MS)

Committee Member

Ynalvez, Marcus A.

Committee Member

Quintana, Fernando G.

Committee Member

Mendez, Monica


The growing incidence of multidrug resistant bacteria has prompted a need for alternatives to traditional antibiotics. The Fabaceae family including the Acacia species have been reported to contain secondary metabolites known to exhibit antibacterial and antioxidant activities. Specifically, A. ridigula was previously shown to be effective against a range of bacterial species. When extracting secondary metabolites from plants, the method and choice of solvent is important in order to efficiently extract a high yield. This study aims to: 1) determine whether Soxhlet or maceration is the more efficient extraction method; 2) determine whether acetone and ethanol will yield more bioactive compound extracts; 3) quantify flavonoids and total phenolics in our extracts; and 4) determine if our extracts contain antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The degree of antibacterial activity was evaluated through a disc diffusion assay. Quantitative chemical analyses were done to determine total flavonoids and total phenolic acids. Antioxidant activity was determined by inhibition of linoleic acid peroxidation. There was no statistically significant difference between Soxhlet and maceration extracts, as well as between ethanol and acetone extracts based on mean zone of inhibition (mZOI). All extracts showed antimicrobial activity against our bacteria of interest. Furthermore, in our study, phytochemical analysis was carried out to determine differences in total phenolic and total flavonoid content between extracts. Soxhlet method extracted statistically more flavonoids (p<0.01), and ethanol as a solvent significantly extracted more flavonoids compounds (p<0.01). On the other hand, no statistical difference was found between Soxhlet and maceration as well as between acetone and ethanol for total phenolic acids. No statistically significant difference was found between the antioxidant activity of maceration and Soxhlet extracts nor between acetone and ethanolic extracts. These findings can serve as a basis for further isolation and purification and the utilization of secondary metabolites in A. ridigula for novel drug treatment.