Nutritional attributes of Hemiparasitic mistletoe Scurrula ferruginea in Brunei Darussalam


Three different associations of Scurrula ferruginea parasites on three different hosts, namely Tabebuia pallida, Acacia holosericea and Acacia auriculiformis were collected from the Brunei-Muara District, Brunei Darussalam. Moisture content and chemical analyses (ash content, total carbohydrate content, crude protein, proline and mineral content composition) were determined to explain the host-parasite physiological biochemistry. Scurrula ferruginea contained relatively higher moisture content (47 – 65%) and ash content (2.1-2.5%, dry basis) than the hosts (0.7-1.4%, dry basis). High nutrient and moisture contents in Scurrula ferruginea make it more preferred food source than its hosts for generalist herbivores in a given community. The mistletoe exhibited differential storage profile of total carbohydrate (1.9-6.4%, dry basis) and total nitrogen (1.2 – 3.0%, dry-basis) when compared to hosts (total carbohydrate 2.3 - 3.0 % dry basis; total nitrogen 1.6 - 2.1%). Meanwhile the proline content (24.9-56.0 mg/kg, dry basis) were found in Scurrula ferruginea. Among all the minerals analysed, potassium is the most abundant mineral present in all mistletoe-host associations. Data indicated that certain host desired solutes are preferentially absorbed and stored in mistletoe. 


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