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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Determine Natural Product Induction in Legumes and the Pharmacologic Consequences in Human Model Systems

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Project Number: 6435-42000-021-15
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 01, 2008
End Date: Sep 30, 2012

Identify stress factors and modify biochemical feed stocks that can influence the production of legume phytochemicals. Test individual combinations of phytochemicals in human model systems. Characterize procedures that can enhance the levels of natural products having estrogenic, anticancer, or potential cancer preventative activities. Perform computer modeling of potential phytoalexin structures for PPAR agonist activity.

Soybean cultivars will initially be grown under well-controlled test tube conditions. After various growth periods, roots will be harvested and their natural products extracted. Selected compounds will be purified and identified using HPLC and various instrumental methods applicable to organic structural characterization such as MS, NMR, IR, and UV. These experiments will then be repeated in the presence of various stress factors such as cyst root nematodes, and in the presence of modified biochemical feed stocks such as aryl-substituted phenylalanine and cinnamic acid derivatives, in order to determine useful elicitation methods and to produce altered phytochemical materials, respectively. Interesting components will again be purified and identified, after which the pharmacologic properties for all materials will be assessed as either individual or combinations of phytochemicals using in vitro models for estrogenic, anticancer, and potential cancer preventative activities. The most promising natural products will be produced in larger quantities by scaling-up the appropriate controlled-growth conditions and by conducting chemical synthesis, as necessary, to support further pharmacological assessments in an expeditious manner. The latter will involve the use of in vivo models indicative of potential estrogenic activity, anticancer therapy, or cancer prevention in humans. Useful growing conditions connected to the most pharmacologically promising compounds or mixtures of components, will be extended to greenhouse settings and eventually to field environments.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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