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Ecophysiological significance and potential for use of fructans in herbaceous plants of the Cerrado

Grant number: 91/03588-8
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: May 01, 1992 - October 30, 1996
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany
Principal Investigator:Rita de Cassia Leone Figueiredo Ribeiro
Grantee:Rita de Cassia Leone Figueiredo Ribeiro
Home Institution: Instituto de Botânica. Secretaria do Meio Ambiente (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Fructans constitute one of the main reserve carbohydrates of higher plants. Considering the physiological and ecological importance that the accumulation of fructans represents for tropical ecosystems, as well as the perspectives of practical use of the same in human nutrition in medicine, the project aims: to study the distribution, the histological location and the composition of polymers of fructose in the herbaceous flora of the Cerrado; to understand the metabolism of these compounds in plants from tropical regions through the analyses of their enzymes of syntheses and of degradation; to study their production in controlled systems (both in vivo and in vitro); to examine the influence of environmental factors in the modulation of the metabolism of the fructans and the possible selective advantages of this metabolism in tropical regions; to ascertain the efficiency of the fructan accumulating plants in the distribution of photoassimilates and in the yield of this polysaccharide; to isolate and identify native fungi capable of synthesizing inulinases, aiming for the production of syrups rich in fructose, based on inulinas of native plants from the Cerrado. (AU)