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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » Natural Products Utilization Research » Research » Research Project #442534

Research Project: Appalachian Natural Products Research Program

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Project Number: 6060-41000-015-022-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 15, 2022
End Date: Jul 14, 2025

1. Identify, evaluate, and develop new natural products with medicinal potential within native Appalachian plants. 2. Determine if the Appalachian climate and geographical environment can enhance the production of known medicinal compounds in plants from other regions of the United States or stimulate the production of potentially new medicinal compounds in these plants.

Appalachia has a rich history in using medicinal plants to treat illnesses common to its people. A few West Virginia plants are well known to have beneficial health effects and their active agents are identified, but many plants in Appalachia have been poorly studied or not studied at all. Thus, there are potentially numerous new drug candidates to be identified in plants growing throughout the region. Plants also produce different amounts of biologically active compounds depending on the environment in which they grow. Thus, some plants may produce even more of an active ingredient if grown commercially in Appalachia. Select native Appalachian plants that have been understudied for medicinal value will be grown and harvested. In cooperative studies, biological screening of plants, crude extracts, and isolated pure compounds will be evaluated using established protocols for in vitro assays in order to evaluate potential medicinal applications. In addition, a small number of non-native plants with potential medicinal value will be selected and grown. Analytical methods, such as LC/MS, GC/MS, and NMR, will be used to determine the effect of the Appalachian climate on bioactive compound production.