Submitted to: Proceedings of the Inter-American Conference Series on Globalization of Agricultural Research
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2002
Publication Date: 2/15/2003
Citation: GIBSON, D.M. BRINGING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TO BEAR ON HIGH-VALUE PLANTS AND FUNGI: CASE STUDIES FOR PRODUCTION OF NATURAL PRODUCTS. Proceedings of the Inter-American Conference Series on Globalization of Agricultural Research. CD-ROM. Turrialba, Costa Rica: Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion Ensenanza (CATIE). 2003. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Throughout the centuries, humankind has relied on the treasures of nature to provide for their needs. In particular, the diversity of natural products (secondary metabolites) have been adapted for use as industrial, agricultural, and medicinal chemistries, either directly or as lead chemistries for synthetically derived materials. In harnessing natural products for development, however, there are economic considerations that can guide the science and technology needed to develop economic and resource efficient strategies for raw material supply. We will use two examples of plant derived products, taxol from Taxus sp. (yew) and Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort), to illustrate how economics drive the choices to develop raw materials for these plant based products. Because of the need to develop new drugs or pesticides to combat pests and pathogens, microbial sources hold much promise as sources for novel chemistries. In the search for natural products from fungi, science and technology can be useful to speed the process of prospecting. These three examples will be used to illustrate the various strategies employed in evaluating and producing natural products.