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Metabolomics in plant systematics: the arnica model

Grant number: 11/05215-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2011
Effective date (End): August 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Norberto Peporine Lopes
Grantee:Madeleine Ernst
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


With the aim to introduce the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP-USP) to international students, internships for graduating foreign students have been offered. At the same time postgraduation programs of the Faculty could be introduced. In this context our research team came into contact with Madeleine Ernst, student of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Basel (Switzerland). After thorough discussion the metabolomic study of plants using mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization (ESI) was proposed. Because of its versatility, ESI is the most used technique in metabolomic studies, this is principally due to the fact that ESI can be used in both positive and negative mode, which leads to a higher amount of data for the statistical evaluation. Such analysis techniques serve for studies focused on dereplication, ecological variations and also plant systematics, when dealing with genera that are difficult to classify. Species of the genus Lychnophora from the subtribe Lychnophorinae and family Asteraceae are popularly known as "arnica da serra" or "falsa arnica" and are used in Brazilian folk medicine as analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents. Various plants of this genus are used for those purposes, their use is limited to folk medicine and not tradtional medicine, as usage began primarily with the colonization of Italian immigrants. Furthermore, opinions of brazilian botanists concerning classification proposed by American and European scientists, based on voucher specimens, differ widely. In recent studies, our research team showed the capacity of analysis of microsamples of part of plants, as few trichome glands and leave fragments of collected material. Considering the problems of the genus Lychnophora described above and the analytical capacity of ESI (available at FCFRP-USP) the objective of this master project is to develop a metabolomic protocol with chemometric methods for the analysis of all plants of the section Lychnophorioides present at the Herbarium of Unicamp in Campinas, the largest collection of Lychnophora species in Brazil.Also, in this project we will collaborate with the botanist Prof. Dr. João Semir of Unicamp, major specialist of the subtribe Lychnophorinae, and like this want to contribute to the progress in the metabolomics research area in the country. Obtained results shall be applied in systematics as well as in the possible explanation of indiscriminate use of metabolomics. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ERNST, MADELEINE; SILVA, DENISE B.; SILVA, RICARDO; MONGE, MARCELO; SEMIR, JOAO; VENCIO, RICARDO Z. N.; LOPES, NORBERTO P. A metabolomic protocol for plant systematics by matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionization time-of flight mass spectrometry. Analytica Chimica Acta, v. 859, p. 46-58, FEB 15 2015. Web of Science Citations: 3.
ERNST, MADELEINE; SILVA, DENISE BRENTAN; SILVA, RICARDO ROBERTO; VENCIO, RICARDO Z. N.; LOPES, NORBERTO PEPORINE. Mass spectrometry in plant metabolomics strategies: from analytical platforms to data acquisition and processing. NATURAL PRODUCT REPORTS, v. 31, n. 6, p. 784-806, 2014. Web of Science Citations: 76.
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
ERNST, Madeleine. Metabolomics in plant taxonomy: The Arnica model. 2013. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto Ribeirão Preto.

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