Within DISCO module 1 bioprospecting of untapped, rare and underutilised species and ecotypes will be carried out. The focus will be on Solanaceae and Iridaceae genera because of their vast array of secondary metabolites, some of which have been exploited previously by mankind.
To fully capture the biochemical diversity in these collections state of art metabolomic procedures will be used to assess and identify low abundance secondary metabolites of interest and global metabolite composition. To ensure the project does not just catalog chemical entities from diversity, module one will also utilise modern proprietary in vitro, in vivo and ex-vivo high throughput SMART bioassays, in order to assess bioactivity against prevalent societal disease states.
Furthermore, within module one, the elucidation of biosynthetic pathways associated with the formation of bioactives and useful metabolites will be a dedicated activity. Here the precise biochemical steps, enzymes responsible, their encoding genes and alleles as well as the regulatory mechanisms operating will be identified and characterised using the very latest methodologies.
The bioactive molecules and their biochemical pathways targeted include apo-carotenoids, terpenoids and tropane alkaloids.