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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » Natural Products Utilization Research » Research » Research Project #420193

Research Project: Chemistry of Natural Products for Nutraceutical Use, Pest Management and Crop Development

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Project Number: 6060-41000-008-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 1, 2010
End Date: Jul 13, 2015

The long-term objective of this project is to identify and chemically characterize secondary metabolites from natural sources with nutraceutical and/or pesticidal properties as chemical markers for selection of high value crops and/or lead compounds for structure-activity optimization. Over the next 5 years, we will focus on the following objectives: Objective 1. Profile phytochemicals of selected crops (blueberry and rice) to identify species or cultivars with high contents of compounds with beneficial health and/or fungicidal properties to promote development as high value crops. Objective 2. Discover and identify technologies based on secondary metabolites that facilitate the development of commercially viable herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, insect repellants, fish bacterides, and health promoters.

Blueberry and rice samples will be extracted with appropriate solvents and the extracts will be analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, as well as by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The extracts will also be tested for antioxidant activity using a cell-based antioxidant assay. The chemical profiles of the extracts will be correlated with disease resistance of the samples, as well as antioxidant activity. A bioassay-guided investigative approach will be performed on bioactive extracts in efforts to discover herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, insect repellents, fish bactericides and health promoters. General procedures for isolation of active compounds such as solvent extractions, distillations, column chromatography and thin layer chromatography will be employed. Extracts, fractions and pure compounds will be tested for phytotoxicity, antifungal and insecticidal activity in assays being carried out routinely at NPURU and at collaborator's laboratories. Identification of active compounds will be done using spectroscopic methods (Ultraviolet (UV), Infrared (IR), Mass Spectroscopy (MS), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)). Chemical studies modification will be performed on compound(s) that will be identified as "highly active" to improve activity or bioavailability.