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Open Access A pipeline for the discovery, sustainable production and commercial utilisation of known and novel high-value triterpenes with new or superior biological activities

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Mankind is continually screening low-molecular-weight compounds from a plethora of synthetic and natural sources in the search for molecules with novel or superior pharmaceutical, agrochemical or other biological activities. In this regard, plants are a potentially rich source of bioactive molecules. Because of their extreme diversity and complex chemistry, however, plant metabolism is still underexplored. Consequently, the full potential of plant-derived, low-molecular weight, bioactive compounds is still largely untapped.

The TriForC consortium will tackle this issue by establishing an integrative and innovative pipeline for the exploitation of plant triterpenes, one of the largest classes of plant bioactive compounds with an astonishing array of structural diversity and spectrum of biological activities. The TriForC partners each bring to the consortium the necessary tools, resources, methods and production systems required to assemble the pipeline and produce high value plant bioactives for commercialisation for use as e.g. new drugs or agrochemicals.

The TriForC consortia will identify new bioactive triterpenes from natural resources by exploring biodiversity. To increase diversity and bioactivity, new-to-nature triterpenes will be derived by semi-synthesis and by an elaborate metabolic engineering platform in plant and microalgal bioreactor-based production systems. To unleash the potential of triterpenes for green biotechnology, structure-activity relationships for triterpenoids will be explored via high throughput screenings for novel chemical entities with potential agrochemical and pharmacological applications. TriForC will further develop and upscale plant-based bioreactors for sustainable commercial production and bio-refining of high-value triterpenes. The TriForC project will guarantee a sustainable and industrially exploitable supply of high value plant compounds with new or superior biological activities ready for commercialisation.
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Keywords: BIOACTIVE MOLECULES; BIOACTIVE TRITERPENES; EUROPEAN BIOINDUSTRY; PHYTOEXTRACTS; PLANT METABOLISM; PLANT TRITERPENES; TRITERPENES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2017

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