Ian Edwin Cock1,2,*
1Environmental Futures Research Institute, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, AUSTRALIA.
2School of Natural Sciences, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, AUSTRALIA.
Published: April 2021
Type: Medicinal Plant Images
Swainsona formosa (G. Don) Joy Thomps. (family Fabaceae; synonyms Clianthus formosus (G. Don) Ford & Vickery, Clianthus dampieri Lindl., Clianthus oxleyi A.Cunn. ex Lindl.; commonly known as Sturt’s desert pea) is a low growing or prostrate legume which is endemic to arid inland regions of the Australian continent. Several Swainsona spp. were used by Australian Aborigines as traditional medicines.[1, 2] Swainsona galegifolia (Andrews) R.Br. and Swainsona pterostylis (DC.) Bakh.f. were considered particularly useful as antiseptics and as bacteriocide chemotherapies against a broad spectrum of bacterial pathogens.[1,2] A recent study has also reported bacterial growth inhibitory activity for S. formosa leaf extracts against wide range of gram positive and gram negative bacteria. A defining phytochemical characteristic of many Swainsona spp. is the presence of the indolizidine alkaloid phytotoxin swainsonine. Swainsonine has been associated with livestock intoxication via inhibition of the enzymes α-mannosidase and mannosidase II, which are required for processing and maturation of N-linked oligosaccharides of newly synthesised glycoproteins. To date, most interest in the therapeutic properties of swainsonine have focussed on its potential as a cancer chemotherapeutic drug via a reduction of tumour cell metastatis, decreased proliferation and enhanced cellular immune responses. Photograph was taken by Dr. Ian Cock at Arid Lands Botanical Gardens, Port Augusta, Australia, February 2021. Read more…