This project is the first project of OBEK center of excellence.

Project duration: 20 months

Project start date: 07. 09. 2018

Project completion date: 07. 05. 2020

       The purpose of the OBEK Center of Excellence is to define and protect biological assets in the East Marmara Region, to establish pilot production facilities for rapid industrialization and to increase innovative production capacity and to use them for production, standardization of products and quality control analyzes. In this way, it is aimed to present the infrastructure and superstructure that will directly gain to the economy of the region directly to the regional economy and industrialists with a Center of Excellence within the Gebze Technical Education and Research Foundation in the region.

     The specific purpose of the OBEK Center of Excellence in this proposed project is Ruscus (ruskogenin), Summer snowflake (galantamine), Rockrose (cistus extract), omega 3 in microalgae bioreactors, the production of phycocyanin and alginate, and production (chemical synthesis, extraction from plants, extraction from microalgae) of different approaches in accordance with the needs of target industry groups .

Target Bioecomomy Sources and Compounds

 

Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum)

     Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake) (Amaryllidaceae) is a valuable medicinal and ornamental plant native to South Europe, Turkey, the Balkans, Caucasia and Northern Iran. It grows from see level to 1000 m altitude in Turkey and common on bottomland forests. Flowers are white with green tips, bell shaped, and are found in groups of 2 to 5 at the top of hollow flower scapes. The species is hermaphrodite and each flower has three similar looking sepals and petals. Flowering occurs in spring. As a result of the fertilization, capsule shaped 3-4 cm fruits are formed, after fruiting the leaves die off and the plant stays dormant until autumn.

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Galantamine active substance obtained from summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum

       Extracts from Leucojum aestivum exhibited significant antiviral activities. Alkaloids including galanthamine and some other chemicals used in pharmacy. Galanthamine is an alkaloid obtained from Leucojum aestivum is also used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and various other memory impairments. There are some studies on Leucojum aestivum alkaloids found in, its propagation, bulb yield and some snowflake characters, influence of chemical composition of soils on the galanthamine content, and site characteristics. But the growing areas are not properly used, and the ecosystems were degraded, declined or destroyed due to urbanization or agricultural practices. Thus, the natural ecosystem of Leucojum aestivum were reduced in size and destroyed. The most of the exported bulb of Leucojum aestivum are being collected from its natural habitats without any permission, and current practices of harvesting are unsustainable. Due to the these reasons, micropropagation of this species in laboratory conditions might be good biotechnological approach for preventing its decline or loss of population and increasing galanthamine content.

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Rockrose (Cistus creticus)     

 

     Cistus creticus  (synonym: C. incanus)  (from the Greek word kistos) or rockroses is a genus of dicotyledonous perennial herbaceous plants with hard leaves which generally grow in open areas, stony soils. Cistus species  are noticeable constituents of the Mediterranean climate which is characteristic with dry and sun-expsoed regions. It extends from sea level to 800 m in arid and warm areas of chapparal. It has five violet petals on its bisexual flowers (rock rose), a few stamens, the fruit located on a capsule and the seeds small in a hard water-impermeable coating. Cistus species have traditionally been used for centuries as a purpose of  its medicinal properties.  The major extract from plant which secreted from glandular hairs of leaves and stems is called ladano have pharmaceutical and aromatic features.

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Labdanum active substance obtained from rockrose (Cistus creticus       

 

      Ladano includes different types of diterpenes, terpenoids which have cytotoxic properties. It is especially famous in Turkish traditional medicine which can be used as anti-inflammatory constituent in skin disases, antiulcer,  antidiarrhea and also phytotherapic use for rhematism and nephritis. Pharmacological studies have proved their antioxidants, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer traits. Labdane-type diterpenes are also reported with different biological activities like antimicrobial activities against human pathogenic bacteria and fungi, anti-inflammatory activities, and triggering of immune cell properties. The plants are destructed from their natural habitat for pharmaceutical studies, so Cistus species are in danger because of increasing demand for drug industry, agricultural and urban development, deforestation, and disorganized collection. In vitro plant regeneration is a promising biotechnological method which make it possible protecting wild population and easily propagating important medicinal aromatic plants. It is appropriate method to produce necessary amounts of clean, consistent and standardized plant material.

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Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus)   

 

  Ruscus aculeatus (Butcher’s Broom) belonging to the Asparagaceae family, is a perennial evergreen semi-shrub which grows in woodlands and hedgerows, where it is tolerant of deep shade, and also on coastal cliffs. Ruscus aculeatus plants have cladodes that look like spine-tipped leaves but are actually extensions of stems. It is a diecious plants, male and female flowers appear on the cladodes in spring, followed by the production of fruits as bright red berries. The species is endangered by population reductions due to habitat alteration and also by intense harvesting for floral bouquets. Except for its ornamental use, Ruscus aculeatus plants are harvested and used for medicinal purposes and cosmetics.

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Ruscogenin active substance obtained from Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus       

      The underground parts of R. aculeatus have been used medicinally as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent, as well as to treat hemorrhoids, varicose veins and to prevent atherosclerosis and circulatory insufficiency. Ruscus aculeatus plants contain various saponins such as ruscogenin, neoruscogenin, ruscin and ruscoside. Ruscogenin has multiple bioactivities and possesses a variety of pharmacological activities: anti-inflammatory properties, platelet aggregation inhibition, pulmonary hypertension lowering properties, acute lung injury alleviation and other effects. In vitro tissue culture is an alternative and safe way to grow Ruscus aculeatus plants for ruscogenin production.

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Ruscogenin active substance obtained from Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus       

      The underground parts of R. aculeatus have been used medicinally as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent, as well as to treat hemorrhoids, varicose veins and to prevent atherosclerosis and circulatory insufficiency. Ruscus aculeatus plants contain various saponins such as ruscogenin, neoruscogenin, ruscin and ruscoside. Ruscogenin has multiple bioactivities and possesses a variety of pharmacological activities: anti-inflammatory properties, platelet aggregation inhibition, pulmonary hypertension lowering properties, acute lung injury alleviation and other effects. In vitro tissue culture is an alternative and safe way to grow Ruscus aculeatus plants for ruscogenin production.