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Investigation by transcriptome analysis and MS/MS database of Apocynaceae and Rubiaceae members prolific producers of bioactive alkaloids

Grant number: 19/14255-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Adriana Aparecida Lopes
Grantee:Adriana Aparecida Lopes
Host Investigator: Sarah E. O'Connor
Host Institution: Universidade de Ribeirão Preto (UNAERP). Campus Ribeirão Preto. Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Max Planck Society, Jena, Germany  


Monoterpene indole alkaloids (MIAs) are alkaloid-type natural products that exhibit huge structural chemical diversity. Some alkaloids exhibit remarkable biological action, including the oxindole (anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer), quinoline (anti-malarial) and iboga (neurological disorders and anti-addiction agent). If we understand the metabolic, or biosynthesis, pathway that the plant uses to construct these molecules, we can harness the enzymes that make these compounds to produce bioactive molecules more effectively. In this proposal, we describe how we will join chemical and transcriptome analysis to identify the genes that are responsible for biosynthesis of MIAs of Rubiaceae and Apocynaceae plants that are both prolific producers of bioactive alkaloids and that are native to Brazil. The proposed work will enable the discovery of many new enzymes that can produce bioactive compounds, and will also allow us to explore how chemical diversity evolved within these phylogenetically related groups of plants. (AU)

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