Our new BioSC-project ToxPot
Utilisation of potato-side streams for extraction of glycoalkaloids
Most crops are grown for the consumption of their fruits and seeds; but this is not the case with potato. Here, exclusively the belowground tubers are utilised. These tubers are not the fruits of the potato, however potatos also have fruits. But flowers and also the fruits of potato (potato berries) are inedible because of their high content of glycoalkaloids.The project ToxPot will investigate if these unutilised aboveground parts of the potato plants including the potato berries and their plants secondary metabolites could be of further use.
The glyoalkaloids in potato berries and flowers show anti-cancerogenic and anti-inflammatory activities and might be valuable precursors for pharmaceutical industry and also interesting candidates for bio-based plants pesticides. Depended on their concentration they also might be toxic to animals and humans. In the project, metabolites from the aboveground parts of the potato plant will be analysed and new compounds will be identified. Developmental and variety-specific differences will be evaluated. Chemical and enzymatic procedures for the conversion of the alkaloids into derivatives with lower toxicity and remaining or changed bioactivity will be developed. Such derivatives will be investigated for their impact on pests and non target organisms of sugar beet cultivation.
Dr. Franziska Genzel, the project coordinator from IBG-4, cooperates in this new, project funded by the BioSC with partners from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and University of Bonn. Together with Dr. Thomas Classen and Prof. Dr. Jörg Pietruszka from the Institute for Bioorganic Chemistry at HHU Düsseldorf and Dr. Sylvia Schleker and Prof. Dr. Florian Grundler from INRES – Molecular Phytomedicine at the University of Bonn, Dr. Franziska Genzel, Dr. Anika Wiese Klinkenberg and Prof. Dr. Björn Usadel from IBG-4 Bioinformatics will investigate, how the metabolites from unutilised rests from the potato cultivation can be further utilised for bio-economic use.
ToxPot is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and is funded from the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for 2 years as a SEED FUND 3.0 project.