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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2010 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Rapid and efficient methods will be developed to maximize production of significant quantities of purified-phytochemicals from plants, processed agricultural products and co-products, and plant tissue culture enhanced for phytochemical production. These phytochemicals will be used to evaluate their mode of action, determine dose requirements and, subsequently, in the phytochemical evaluation of crude and processed agricultural products. Characterized phytochemicals, such as the saponins from soy and glucosinolates from crucifers, will be used to develop new agricultural pest control products, chemical feed stocks for industrial processes and designer functional foods for humans and animals. The isolation and evaluation methods developed here will be used with minimal modification for the evaluation of other phytochemicals in biologically-active plant extracts. A key feature of this research is the development of collaborations with our analytical team, industrial processors, bioassay researchers for both pest control and in mammalian cell systems, and mammalian nutritional research. This research will result in defined roles for phytochemicals and new/enhanced functional products and foods.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Develop new or enhance existing protocols for the identification, quantitation and elucidation of metabolic forms of phytochemicals from plant tissues, products and by-products. Characterize phytochemicals from plants that demonstrate effective biological activity against agricultural pests, demonstrate biological activity in cell culture or nutritional studies or have chemical functionality in industrial processes. Develop or optimize protocols for the induction of secondary metabolites and important economically-valuable phytochemicals and improve growth and morphogenesis in cultured plants, plant cells, plant tissues, and organs.

3.Progress Report
The project’s objectives were to expand and promote research on the functionality of plant phytochemicals and find new uses, in both pest control and human nutrition and providing these important research tools for the purification and evaluation of plant phytochemicals. Biomaterials with characterized phytochemical, chemical, and biological properties are being made into new or alternate use products for outdoor, agricultural, gardening, lawn care, pest control, animal feeds, and health-promoting nutriceutical products for human and animal diets. We developed enhanced methods to purify gram quantities of saponins from soy and other species assessing the biological activity of saponins in the prevention of the development of chronic diseases in humans. We developed methods to identify, quantitate and purify gram quantities of intact glucosinolates from crucifer species to prepare products for evaluation in pest control, industrial antioxidants and in human disease prevention. We examined coproducts from the processing of new and existing oil seed crops including camelina, lesquerella, cuphea, field penny cress, coriander. The press cake/seed meal coproducts have useful phytochemicals and/or physical properties for alternative agricultural practices. Higher yields of secondary products from plant foliage were obtained with supplemental sugar and CO2. Using mint and related plant species as models, optimized plant culture conditions demonstrated enhanced biomass yields of plants and increased levels of phytochemicals, and demonstrated by enhanced production of opiate alkaloids in cultured poppy plants. We developed systems to transfer methodology to soil grown conditions to enhance field grown plant yields. Rapid non-destructive near infrared spectrophometric methods were developed to measure phytochemical levels in plant tissues. We evaluated the chemical and biological activity of compounds in corn processing, dry milling and ethanol fermentation coproducts and new functional agricultural and oil stabilizing products were found. Preliminary work has shown potent pesticidal activity against weedy species and nutrient enrichment to the soil. Alternate woody crops, especially those species with high growth rates and coppicing properties grown on marginal or conserved land, were examined for biologically active phytochemicals and pest control properties. Methods were developed to enhance propagation and production of new alternative outdoor products. The work carried out in the past five years has resulted in 69 peer reviewed scientific papers, 5 new invention disclosures and patent filings, 5 new cooperative research agreements and in-house funding from 6 co-PI funded grants. The analytical and cultural methodology developed in this project will be used to carry out the work outlined in the next five year project 3620-41000-150-00D “Discovery and Utilization of Bioactive Components from New Crops and Agricultural Co-Products” which will be initiated this fiscal year.

1. Lesquerella press cake can be used as an organic fertilizer for greenhouse tomatoes. Lesquerella is an oilseed crop belonging to the mustard family that is being developed as a new crop for arid regions of the southwestern United States. Lesquerella oil is rich in hydroxy fatty acids (HFAs), which are important as industrial raw materials for making polymers such as nylon, resins, waxes, corrosion inhibitors, coatings, lubricating greases, and cosmetics. Currently, most HFAs are obtained from imported castor oil, as little castor is grown domestically. Developing commercial uses for the press cake would increase the profitability of growing lesquerella. The press cake contains levels of nutrients which should make it an excellent organic fertilizer for container-grown plants. We have found that tomato growth and fruit yield in potting mix supplemented with lesquerella press cake was equal to plants grown with either a standard chemical fertilizer or cottonseed meal, a commonly-used organic fertilizer. Developing lesquerella press cake as a fertilizer for organic growers and home gardeners would help to support the initial growing and processing costs associated with a new crop such as lesquerella.

2. Poly(lactic acid) and Osage Orange wood fiber composites for agricultural mulch films. Osage Orange wood (OO) was combined with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) to form a polymer composite intended for use as an agricultural mulch film. The PLA–OO mechanical properties were comparable to existing mulch film products and had the advantage of being completely biodegradable through a single growing season. PLA–OO composites were evaluated for mechanical properties in both dry and wet conditions. The availability of its organic components useful for release into the environment was determined to be significantly higher than native OO before thermomechanical treatment. PLA–OO mulch films will provide a weed barrier and control soil erosion, as well as allowing the controlled release of the OO phytochemical components for additional protection.

Review Publications
Hassan, S.M., Haq, A.U., Byrd, J.A., Berhow, M.A., Cartwright, A.L., Bailey, C.A. 2010. Haemolytic and Antimicrobial Activites of Saponin-Rich Extracts from Guar Meal. Food Chemistry. 119:600-605.

Paucar-Menacho, L.M., Berhow, M.A., Mandarino, J.M., De Mejia, E.G., Chang, Y.K. 2010. Optimisation of Germination Time and Temperature on the Concentration of Bioactive Compounds in Brazilian Soybean Cultivar BRS 133 using Response Surface Methodology. Food Chemistry. 119:636-642.

Vaughn, S.F., Deppe, N.A., Berhow, M.A., Evangelista, R.L. 2010. Lesquerella Press Cake as an Organic Fertilizer for Greenhouse Tomatoes. Industrial Crops and Products. 32:164-168.

Moser, B.R., Vaughn, S.F. 2010. Coriander Seed Oil Methyl Esters as Biodiesel Fuel: Unique Fatty Acid Composition and Excellent Oxidative Stability. Biomass and Bioenergy. 34:550-558.

Moser, B.R., Vaughn, S.F. 2010. Evaluation of Alkyl Esters from Camelina Sativa Oil as Biodiesel and as Blend Components in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel. Bioresource Technology. 101:646-653.

Moser, J.K., Vaughn, S.F. 2009. Antioxidant Activity of Phytochemicals from Dried Distillers Grain Oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 86:1026-1035.

Jham, G.N., Moser, B.R., Shah, S.N., Holser, R.A., Dhingra, O.D., Vaughn, S.F., Berhow, M.A., Moser, J.K., Isbell, T., Holloway, R.K., Walter, E.L., Natalino, R., Anderson, J.A., Stelly, D.M. 2009. Wild Brazilian Mustard (Brassica Juncea L.) Seed Oil Methyl Esters as Biodiesel Fuel. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 86(1):917-926.

Moser, B.R., Shah, S.N., Moser, J.K., Vaughn, S.F., Evangelista, R.L. 2009. Composition and Physical Properties of Cress (Lepidium sativum L.) and Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) Oils. Industrial Crops and Products. 30:199-205.

Moser, B.R., Knothe, G.H., Vaughn, S.F., Isbell, T. 2009. Production and Evaluation of Biodiesel from Field Pennycress (Thlaspi Arvense L.) Oil. Energy and Fuels. 23:4149-4155.

Halbert, S.E., Corsini, D., Wiebe, M., Vaughn, S.F. 2009. Plant derived compounds and extracts with potential as aphid repellents. Annals of Applied Biology. 154:303-307.

Finkenstadt, V.L., Tisserat, B. 2010. Poly(lactic acid) and Osage Orange Wood Fiber Composites for Agricultural Mulch Films. Industrial Crops and Products. 31(2):316-320.

Paucar-Menacho, L.M., Berhow, M.A., Mandarino, J., Gonzalez-De Mejia, E., Chang, Y. 2010. A High-Protein Soybean Cultivar Contains Lower Isoflavones and Saponins but Higher Minerals and Bioactive Peptides than a Low-Protein Cultivar. Food Chemistry. 120:15-21.

Price, N.P., Bowman, M.J., Legall, S., Berhow, M.A., Kendra, D.F., Lerouge, P. 2010. Functionalized C-glycoside ketohydrazones: Carbohydrate derivatization that retains the ring integrity of the terminal reducing sugar. Analytical Chemistry. 82(7):2893-2899.

Johnson, E.T., Berhow, M.A., Dowd, P.F. 2010. Constitutive Expression of the Maize Genes B1 and C1 in Transgenic Hi II Maize Results in Differential Tissue Pigmentation and Generates Resistance to Helicoverpa zea. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58(4):2403-2409.

Koca, U., Berhow, M.A., Febres, V.J., Champ, K.I., Carillo-Mendoza, O., Moore, G.A. 2009. Decreasing Unpalatable Flavonoid Components in Citrus: The Effect of Transformation Construct. Physiologia Plantarum. 137:101-114.

Martinez-Villaluenga, C., Dia, V.P., Berhow, M.A., Bringe, N.A., Gonzalez De Mejia, E. 2009. Protein Hydrolysates from Beta-Conglycinin Enriched Soybean Genotypes Inhibit Lipid Accumulation and Inflammation in Vitro. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 53:1007-1018.

Tisserat, B., Berhow, M.A., Vaughn, S.F. 2009. Spearmint Plantlet Culture System as a Means to Study Secondary Metabolism. Methods in Molecular Biology. 547:313-324.

Tisserat, B., Berhow, M.A. 2009. Production of Pharmaceuticals from Papaver Cultivars In Vitro. Engineering in Life Sciences. 9(3):190-196.

Last Modified: 5/25/2015
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