In collaboration with Mark Widrlechner, a horticulturist with the ARS crop genebank at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station in Ames, scientists from the Center for Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements (CRBDS) are screening 180 germplasm accessions of St. John's wort for biologically active compounds. Some may be worth evaluating further in clinical trials for their potential to combat viral infections, reduce inflammation or improve digestive health.
Established in 1948, the ARS Ames crop genebank curates more than 50,000 accessions of ornamental plants, maize, oilseeds, vegetables and other crops, and provides them to researchers for many applications. Accessions with medicinal or nutraceutical value include Echinacea (purple coneflower), Hypericum, Prunella (self-heal) and Actaea racemosa (black cohosh). ARS horticulturist Luping Qu curates the collection and Widrlechner coordinates its use for research at CRBDS, one of six Botanical Research Centers funded by the National Institutes of Health from 2005-2010.
The Hypericum collection at Ames was started in the 1990s and today encompasses about 60 species collected from around the world. This diversity has enabled investigations of genetic, environmental and developmental factors affecting the quantity and quality of bioactive compounds, as well as their modes of action.
Of particular interest is how these compounds interact, and whether those interactions are critical to human health benefits. In a recent issue of Pharmaceutical Biology, researchers noted that combinations of four compounds from St. John's wort (amentoflavone, chlorogenic acid, pseudohypericin and quercetin) were more effective at reducing inflammation in mouse macrophage assays than when each was used alone.
Widrlechner's collaborators include Diane Birt, Kimberly Hammer, Matthew Hillwig, Jingqiang Wei, George Kraus, Patricia Murphy and Eve Wurtele at Iowa State University; Jeffrey Neighbors, David Wiemer, Wendy Maury and Jason Price at the University of Iowa; and Joe-Ann McCoy, formerly with ARS.
ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The research supports the USDA priority of improving human nutrition and health.
Jan Suszkiw | EurekAlert!
Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?
10.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy
Alfalfa loss? Annual ryegrass is a win
03.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Life Sciences
16.01.2018 | Health and Medicine