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Comparative study of volatile terpenes from the latex of Moraceae species

Grant number: 16/11647-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2016
Effective date (End): April 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Applied Botany
Principal Investigator:Simone de Pádua Teixeira
Grantee:Cristina Ribeiro Marinho
Supervisor: Sylvie Baudino-Caissard
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université Jean Monnet (UJM), France  
Associated to the scholarship:13/21794-5 - Morphology and evolution of laticifers in Moraceae, BP.PD


The latex is a suspension of diverse molecules dispersed in a fluid with a differentiated refractive index. Considering the large number of latex-producing plant species and the diversity of the compounds present in this type of exudate, there is still a gap in the knowledge of the latex constituents in some families. In Moraceae, the presence of latex throughout the plant is considered to be a synapomorphy and chemical analyses on plants of this family have demonstrated that the latex mainly consists of terpenes (among them rubber) and proteins, in addition to phenol compounds, alkaloids and polysaccharides. More specific chemical analyses have permitted the isolation and identification of compounds (mainly proteins and rubber) present in the latex of some Moraceae, although these studies have focused on species of some economic interest. In addition, little is known about the volatiles present in the latex and its role for the plant. It is widely known that the volatile compounds present in the vegetative body act as repellent of herbivores while those in the flower can also work in the pollinator attraction. Comparative studies of the compounds produced by secretory structures present in the vegetative and reproductive plant bodies are important to check this proposal. Moreover, the information of the latex volatiles in Moraceae species, plotted in phylogenetic trees could reveal the evolution of secondary metabolites produced by the plant groups. Thus, considering the phylogenetic and ecological importance of latex, the objectives of the present project are: (1) to compare the types of volatile terpenes present in the latex of species of the Moraceae family, (2) to verify if the volatiles present in flower latex are the same present in the leaf latex and (3) to study the evolution of latex compounds in the group based on the more recent phylogeny of the family. To this end, the latex of 11 species of the six Moraceae tribes and of Cecropia pachystachia (Urticaceae) will be collected and then analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The results obtained will be submitted to statistical analysis (AU)

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