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The University of Granada studies the potential of the “Atlas cedar” as reforestation source in Morocco

Through this study, the Department of Organic Chemistry of the UGR intends to contribute to the revalorization of the forest resources of Morocco.

To this extent, the properties of the plant “Atlas cedar” have been studied as a resource for the creation of chemical products applicable to other areas such as medicine or pharmacology. To date, the plant has been exploited as a source of quality wood similar to the legendary “Liban cedar”. Chemical studies have been carried out to use other parts of the tree by solvent extraction, cracking and division of the different compounds to proceed afterwards to its identification by NMR techniques.

Biological research leaders

Al through the work, six new natural products have been discovered, two of which contain the molecular requirements to fight against malaria and will be put to the necessary test to assess its quality. On the other hand, the essential oils of the fruits and certain non-volatile compounds, which have showed a powerful antibacterial activity before the viruses that cause alimentary intoxications and urinary and digestive infection. These possible applications justify the use in Moroccan popular medicine of this plant and open the possibility of using its active principles in the drug industry. Such results reveal the importance of the discovering of natural products in the search of new compounds with biological activity which can be considered “leaders” for drug development.

This research work has been developed in the framework of the Scientific Cooperation Program between Andalusia and Morocco in a project funded by the Presidency Department of the Andalusian Regional Government. The Spanish Universities of Cadiz and Granada [] and the Moroccan Universities of Mohammedía and Marrakech, to which Mohamed Dakir, author of the doctoral thesis in which this work is included, belongs, have taken part in it. This kind of cooperation is proving to be highly efficient for the preparation of the future professors of the Moroccan universities and, simultaneously, for a better knowledge and use of the natural resources of Morocco, whose botanical richness is extraordinarily important in endemism of industrial interest.

As a result of these works two scientific articles have been published in the journals of international impact Phytochemistry and Natural Products Research and two papers were presented to the First Moroccan-Spanish Conference of Organic Chemistry held in September of 2004 in Marrakech.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
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