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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory » Research » Research Project #431464

Research Project: Metabolomic Profiles and Chemical Fingerprints for Echinacea and Endophytic Fungi in Black Cohosh

Location: Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-063-25-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Sep 30, 2018

Development of metabolomic profiles and chemical fingerprints for the identification and authentication of species and hybrids of Echinacea (genus Echinacea), Black Cohosh (genus Actaea), and endophytic fungi isolated from Black cohosh. Echinacea and Black Cohosh are popular dietary supplements with high market shares. Echinacea is comprised of numerous species that are frequently used to adulterate or substitute for the target species. In addition, Echinacea species readily form hybrids; a characteristic that creates further confusion. This study will develop methods for rapid differentiation between species and hybrids. The chemical composition of Black Cohosh is influenced by endophytic fungi that grow in the plant. The fungi will be isolated and cultured. The fingerprints of the fungi and Black cohosh plus fungi will be measured to characterize the chemical contribution of the fungi.

Echinacea species and hybrids will be cultivated at BCGR. Uncertainty regarding hybrids of Echinacea will be resolved using DNA barcoding. Metabolomic profiles obtained by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography and high resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) will provide accurate masses and identify specific compounds in each of these materials. Spectral fingerprints will be obtained from flow injection mass spectrometry (FIMS). Chemometric pattern recognition methods will be applied to the fingerprints to discriminate between species and hybrids. The results of these studies will be incorporated into a publicly available database. Endophytic fungi will be isolated from Black Cohosh species cultivated at BCGR and cultured. Metabolomes and spectral fingerprints of the source plants and the fungi will be acquired as described and compared.