Perennial plants are a manageable natural resource with the potential to provide both highly valuable biologically active chemicals and ecosystem services. Ecosystem services include various benefits that are provided by an ecosystem such as food, fuel, recreation, as well as water, air, and land quality for society. Biologically active chemicals from plants have a long history of use by humans in botanical medicines and pharmaceuticals, food and dietary supplements, agricultural inputs, and home and personal care products. There are different strategies that can be used to incorporate plants into an economic and ecosystem service role. Method development and application studies were used to facilitate use of plant derived bioactive compounds for commercial use. Methodological studies, using the technique of metabolic fingerprinting, resulted in the determination of extraction conditions that maximize chemical diversity and yield. Maximum chemical diversity in a plant extract was most efficiently approached if solvent partitioning was performed on an extract made with 70 percent ethanol. Additionally, strategies to integrate extract chemical analysis with information regarding extract quality, such as cytotoxicity measurements, were developed and used to evaluate commercial kava samples obtained from multiple sources. These approaches were then applied to two different perennial plant species (<italic>Comptonia peregrina</italic>, and (<italic>Glycyrrhiza lepidota</italic>,) with the aim of developing their commercial value based on their extractable chemical composition. These studies resulted in the isolation of two small molecules from (<italic>C. peregrina</italic>, with strong antimicrobial activity and the identification of two (<italic>G. lepidota</italic>, populations with the potential to be developed into a cultivar with optimal characteristics for the cultivation of biologically active compounds.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. November 2014. Major: Plant Biological Sciences. Advisors: Dr. Adrian D. Hegeman, Dr. Donald L. Wyse. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 168 pages, appendices A-C.
Martin, Amanda C..
Evaluating the chemical diversity and biological activity of plant extracts for commercialization.
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