BOTANY AND APPLIED PHARMACOGNOSY (BAP)
Dra. Lourdes Rufo Nieto Ph.D. email@example.com
José Manuel Bueno Calderón Ph.D.
María Teresa Iglesias López Ph.D.
Marta Garcés Rimón Ph.D.
María Teresa Grande Rodríguez Ph.D.
Ana María Martínez Relimpio Ph.D.
Ramiro Perezzan Rodríguez Ph.D.
Vicenta de la Fuente García Ph.D.
Irene Sánchez Gavilán (student)
Esteban Ramirez Chueca (student)
LINE OF INVESTIGATION:
The research group, of multidisciplinary nature, focuses its research on three aspects: study of the flora and vegetation of different ecological environments, including extreme ecological environments; study of the plant ecology and the relationship between the organic and inorganic composition of plants with several environmental variables; search of extracts and plant compounds with bio-active properties.
SUMMARY OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT
Plants are living beings with a great capacity to adapt to their environment, given their inability to move. The ecologic environments considered extreme (salt marshes, mines, metalliferous soil, thermal reservoirs) exhibit special flora and vegetation, where the degree of adaptation to certain environmental variables reach their greatest expression.
The study of plant species that grow in these environments has allowed the identification and description of such strategies (hyperaccumulation of metals, formation of biominerals in tissues, biosynthesis and accumulation of organic compounds with varied functions, etc.). The products of these strategies can prove to be of great pharmacological value (use of extracts and organic plant components with bioactive properties) and biotechnological value (use of plant species or their components in phytoremediation processes, as a basis to manufacture, design or synthesise new materials, etc.).
he investigations conducted on vegetation of salt marches in the Iberian Peninsula demonstrate the specificity of this flora, its ecological interest and pharmaco-biotechnological potential. It has been noted that at least in succulent halophytes, the inorganic composition varies in relation to climatological variables. In addition, the existence of internal biomineralisation processes has been demonstrated, through which different salts, that are visible throughout the year, crystallise.
Further, several of the investigated halophytes, contain a high concentration of phenols in their extracts. Such extracts exhibit antioxidant and cytoprotective activities. We are currently carrying out assays looking into the potential activity against parasites causing illnesses such as malaria or Chagas disease.
PUBLICATIONS RELATED TO THE LINE OF RESEARCH
Ramírez E, Rufo L, Sánchez-Mata D, Fuente V. 2019. Arthrocnemum meridionalis (Chenopodiaceae), a new species of Mediterranean flora. Mediterranean botany. http://dx.doi.org/10.5209/MBOT.59820. En prensa
Fuente V, Rufo L, Sánchez-Gavilán I, Ramírez E, Rodríguez N and Amils R. 2018. Plant tissues and embryos biominerals in Sarcocornia pruinosa, a halophyte from the Río Tinto salt marshes. Minerals, 8, 505: 1-14 doi:10.3390/min8110505
Fuente V; Rufo L; Rodríguez N; Franco A; Amils R. 2017. Comparison of iron localization in wild plants and hydroponic cultures of Imperata cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv. Plant and Soil. 418 (1-2): 25 - 35.
Rufo L., de la Fuente V., Sánchez-Mata D. 2016. Sarcocornia plant communities of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands Phytocoenologia 46 (4): 383 – 396
Fuente V; Rufo L; Hernández Juárez B; Menéndez N; García-Hernández M; Salas-Colera E; Espinosa A. 2016. Formation of biomineral iron oxides compounds in Fe hyperaccumulator plant: Imperata cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv.Journal of Structural Biology. 139 (1): 23 - 32.
Fuente V; Rufo L; Rodríguez N; Sánchez-Mata D; Franco A; Amils R. 2016. A study of Sarcocornia A.J. Scott (Chenopodiaceae) from Western Mediterranean Europe. Plant Biosystems, 150 (2): 343-356.
Pavlova D; Fuente V; Sánchez-Mata D; Rufo L. 2016. Pollen morphology and localization of Ni in some Ni-hyperaccumulator taxa of Alyssum L. (Brassicaceae). Plant Biosystems, 150 (4): 671-681.
Franco A; Rufo L; Fuente V. 2015. Fe absorption and distribution of Imperata cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv. under controlled conditions. Journal of environmental and analytical toxicology, 5 (6): 1 - 7.
Sánchez-Mata D; Fuente V; Rufo L; Rodríguez N; Amils R. 2014. Localization of nickel in tissues of Streptanthus polygaloides Gray (Cruciferae) and endemic nickel hyperaccumulators from California. Biological trace elements research. 157 (1): 75 – 83.
Rufo L; Franco A; Fuente V. 2014. Silicon in Imperata cylindrica (L.) P. Beauv: content, distribution, and ultrastructure. Protoplasma, 251 (4) 921 – 930.
Title: Characterisation of halophytes in salt marshes within the Iberian Peninsula and evaluation of the antioxidant capacity of its extracts. Period: 1/01/2018-31/12/2019. Funding: Research grants for Francisco de Vitoria University.
Title: Characterisation of ecophysiological responses of the halophyte species Sarcocornia carinata and evaluation of the antioxidant capacity of its extracts. Period: 1/01/2016-31/12/2017. Funding: Research grants for Francisco de Vitoria University.
COLLABORATION IN OTHER PROJECTS:
Title: Characterisation of the biodiversity of Tinto river´s marshes and the subsoil of the Iberian pyrite belt, as well as its biotechnological usage. Period: 2016-2018 Funding: MINECO.
Title: Characterisation of the biodiversity of Tinto river´s extreme environment and its usage. Period: 2013-2018. Funding: MINECO.