The present study was aimed to assess the variation in the phytochemical constituents with altitude and the antibacterial potency of two medicinally important species, Ajuga bracteosa and Ajuga parviflora, growing in Kashmir valley. The methanolic extracts of both the species from different populations with varying altitudes were subjected to quantitative estimation of various phytochemicals by using various spectrophotometric techniques. It was observed that mean values of the analyzed phytochemical constituents varied significantly (p≤0.05) across the populations. Phytochemicals such as phenols, flavonoids, saponins, terpenoids and alkaloids were present in all the sampled populations but their quantity varied significantly across the populations. With the decrease in altitude the content of various phytochemicals gets reduced. The high altitude plants exposed to the extreme environmental conditions possess a good content of secondary metabolites altering their stress tolerance and thus enhancing their medicinal activity. The present study further revealed that the methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of the two medicinal plant species under study; A. bracteosa and A. parviflora plant extracts possess potent antibacterial activity against two gram positive bacterial strains (B. subtilis, S. aureus) and two gram negative bacterial strains (E. coli, P. vulgaris). Therefore, these plants may prove as source of certain potent antibacterial molecules.
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