Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research » Research » Research Project #429542

Research Project: Phytochemical Evaluation of Tropical Plants for Bioactive Compounds

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 2040-21000-017-04-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2015
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

Investigate tropical plants and edible fruits produced in Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Basin as potential functional foods. Extract, isolate, and identify natural compounds, phytochemicals, and nutrients which exhibit biological activity (antioxidant, antibacterial, nutritional and/or medicinal). Initiate metabolomics investigation of the bioactivity of chemical constituents in select tropical fruit.

A research team comprised of scientists from the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center with expertise in tropical fruits, medicinal plants, and natural product chemistry will identify potential tropical plants for phytochemical analyses. Diverse extraction methods will be developed and monitored for bioactive compounds from edible plant sources (fruits, leaves, flowers). Compounds will be fractionated and isolated from extracts via several chromatographic methods to achieve a rapid and high-recovery yield re-isolation of structurally similar compounds. Isolated compounds will be tested in antioxidant, antibacterial, and anticancer bioassays. The chemical structure of novel bioactive compounds will be elucidated with mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, UV-Visible spectroscopy, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, and other standard analytical tools. NMR spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis methods will be used for metabolite profiling of tropical plant extracts for in vitro antioxidant activity.