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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » Natural Products Utilization Research » Research » Research Project #439626

Research Project: Discovery and Development of Natural Product-Based Pesticides and Pharmaceuticals

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Project Number: 6060-41000-015-021-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2021
End Date: Apr 30, 2026

1. Discover new leads from plant-based natural resources with anti-infective, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-obesity activities using a variety of cell-based screens. 2. For the best candidates, characterize mechanisms of action, selectivity, toxicity, functional activity in secondary assays using molecular target-based approaches as well as further assessment of activity in available animal models. 3. Develop methods for analysis of bioactive or medicinally important plants and quality control of their derived products. 4. Assess selected medicinal or aromatic plants for cultivation, harvest and processing to optimize yields of biomass and active principles.

The primary focus of our project is in the development of novel products, compounds and materials needed for specialized products in biotechnological, agrochemical, and pharmaceutical applications. This work also includes the identification of new bioactive ingredients, understanding of their mechanisms of action and methods to determine their concentrations and stability to ensure quality of raw materials, whether used as sources of bioactive principles or for other applications. (1) Development of strategies for rational collection of terrestrial, aquatic and marine plants, as well as microbes, as a source of novel bioactive natural products. (2) Discovery and development of novel pharmaceutically or agriculturally useful natural products from higher plants. (3) Identification and investigation of new mechanistic targets that may be used in the discovery of pesticides and anti-infective and anti-cancer agents. (4) Development of natural product-based approaches and technologies to overcome resistance to antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents. (5) Investigations of selections, cloning, propagation, agronomics, cultivation, harvesting and processing of medicinal plants in relation to the chemistry of desired pharmaceutically or agriculturally useful natural products.