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Biotecnología Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1027-2852


NOGUEIRAS, Clara et al. Contribution to the phytochemical study and biological activity of plants of Cuban flora. Biotecnol Apl [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.4, pp.314-318. ISSN 1027-2852.

Interest in natural products as a source for innovation in drug discovery and agrochemicals is still growing worldwide. Natural products, whose immense diversity has been appreciated for many years, may become in a rich source of novel chemical structures. Our country is a rich source of both biological and chemical diversity which may be useful as a source of novel chemical structures. Even when natural products have been used as medicinal agents for many years in Cuba, their use as agrochemicals are still limited. Thus, the present review focuses on recent advances in the studies on natural products performed by the "Centro de Estudios de Productos Naturales, CEPN" during the past ten years, highlighting on those with potential use as biomedical and agrochemicals. 15 plant species were studied; Agave brittoniana Trel. Subsp. brachypus A Álvarez de Zayas (Agavaceae); Juniperus barbadensis L. var. Lucayana (Britt.) RP Adams (Cupressaceae); Melia azedarach Linn. (Meliaceae); Tectona grandis Linn. f. (Lamiaceae); Lantana camara Linn. (Verbenaceae); Lantana trifolia Cham. (Verbenaceae); Citrus sinensis (Linn.) Osbeck cv Valencia (Rutaceae); Maytenus buxifolia (A Rich) Griseb (Celastraceae); Maytenus elaeodendroides Griseb (Celastraceae); Maytenus urquiolae B Mory (Celastraceae); Solanum americanum W. Mill (Solanaceae); Thalassia testudinum Kon. (Hydrocharitaceae); Sesbania rostrata Bremek & Oberm (Fabaceae); Pluchea carolinensis G Don (Asteraceae) and Ageratina havanensis (HB & K) RM King & Robinson (Asteraceae). By means of a bio-guided fractionation, isolated structures as well as semi-purified fractions were assayed as antioxidant, antiparasitic, antibiotic, insecticides, antifungal, and skin regenerating and healing effects. The strategy employed allows us to discover novel secondary metabolites with potential for industrial development as pharmaceuticals and/or agrochemicals. Besides, in addition to the goal of discovering new bioactive agents, the presence of unique bioactive compounds notably contribute to increase the knowledge of plant species in Cuba.

Keywords : bioactivity of Cuban plants; flavonoids; saponins and steroidal sapogenins; terpenoids and triterpenoids; quinones and phenolic compounds.

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