Conservation and utilization of Sage biodiversity (Salvia sp.), aromatic and medicinal plants
Funding Body: EU/GSRT/DLR
The genus Salvia has a long history of use in traditional medicine and is considered a traditional medicinal herb for numerous maladies. Salvia species are especially rich in bioactive terpenoids.
Several isolated compounds from Salvia species are highly bioactive and are assessed as potential drugs (Salvinorin, tanshinone, salvicine, carnosol, salvianolic acid). Our research activities utilize current knowledge and technical expertise to ) exte
nd the collection of representative genotypes from the species, b) to analyse the genetic and chemic diversity in there Salvia species growing in the Lower Balkan region (Salvia fruticosa, S. pomifera, S. officinalis) and c) to isolate and characterize terpene biosynthetic enzymes, and reconstitute their biosynthetic pathway in microorganisms.
In the context of our research, we have isolated and characterized several new enzymes and isoenzymes producing terpenes. Gene analysis indicated the presence of highly homologous gene copies expressed only in glandular trichomes (specialized tissues producing essential oils) which give rise to a differentiating terpenoid profile.