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Abstract Detail

Phytochemistry: From atoms to organisms

Leisner, Courtney [1].

Medicinal Genomics: Exploring the diversity of iridoid compounds in blueberry for human health benefits.

Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) is an economically important fruit crop that is native to North America. Fresh market production of blueberries in the United States was valued at $5.68 billion in 2015 and was planted over 36,349 hectares. In addition to its commercial value, blueberries are prized for their positive health benefits, containing high levels of antioxidants, which has been linked to a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. Another class of known pharmacologically important, yet under studied compounds in blueberries are iridoids. Iridoids are present in over 15 plant families and are potent natural products with a wide range of biological activities in humans including, anticancer, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Previous work has identified monotropein, an iridoid glycoside compound, in several wild Vaccinium species, as well as American cranberry (V. macrocarpon), but limited work has been done to identify this compound in cultivated North American blueberry species (V. corybosum, V. angustifolium, V. virgatum). To address this research limitation I have collected over 80 berry and leaf samples from multiple species and commercial varieties of blueberry to survey for monotropein production. The glycoside iridoid monotropein was successfully identified in only 5 of the 71 cultivars included in the panel, indicating that the presence of iridoid compounds is determined by the specific ecotype and pedigree of a given cultivar. Additionally, all wild blueberry species analyzed contained monotropein. This indicates that one way to increase the presence of iridoid compounds in a broader range of cultivars and ecotypes of cultivated blueberry would be through targeted breeding efforts that incorporate wild germplasm. Currently, we have generated both metabolite and transcriptomic data to identify key iridoid biosynthetic pathway genes in blueberry and cloned a key enzyme in the pathway. This is a key step in understanding iridoid biosynthesis in blueberry for future research.

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Related Links:
Leisner lab website

1 - Auburn University , Biological Sciences, 101 Rouse Life Sciences Building, Auburn, AL, 36849, United States

natural products

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C05, Phytochemistry: From Atoms to Organisms
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 12:45 PM(EDT)
Number: C05010
Abstract ID:1110
Candidate for Awards:None

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