Camu camu is a typical Amazon native fruit shrub that possesses a diploid genome, moderate genetic diversity, and population structure. The fruits accumulate several essential nutrients and synthesize L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in great quantities and an array of diverse secondary metabolites with corroborated in vitro and in vivo health-promoting activities. These beneficial effects include antioxidative and antiinflammatory activities, antiobesity, hypolipidemic, antihypertensive and antidiabetic effects, DNA damage and cancer protection effects, and other bioactivities. Many health-promoting phytochemicals are biosynthesized in several metabolic pathways of camu camu. Their reconstruction from the fruit transcriptome database was accomplished by our research group. These include basic metabolic pathways such as glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway, vitamin C biosynthesis pathways, and pathways involved in secondary metabolites production. Due to their agronomic potential and fruits growing demand, recently, based on an ideotype, programs were initiated for their domestication and genetic improvement, but so far with very negligible achievements. Consequently, we propose new strategies to accelerate the processes of domestication and genetic improvement based on state of the art technologies for multiomic data analysis and innovative molecular tools.
Part of the book: Breeding and Health Benefits of Fruit and Nut Crops
The objective of this book chapter is to provide consolidated and updated scientific information about the medicinal plants of the Peruvian Amazon, which has a great richness of plants; many of these are used in folkloric medicine to treat several diseases. Recently, investigations have reported that these medicinal plants possess bioactive phytochemicals against several diseases such as diabetes, cancer, inflammation, infectious diseases, and several other health problems, thus corroborating some ethnopharmacological reports. The mechanism of action for selected bioactive phytochemicals was demonstrated at the molecular level as well as the metabolic pathways involved in their biosynthesis were described. Due to the large gap in scientific information revealed in this review, we formulated a series of strategies to close these scientific knowledge gaps and achieve a sustainable exploitation of medicinal plants in the Peruvian Amazon.
Part of the book: Pharmacognosy
The objective of this chapter is to provide scientific information on basic aspects to be taken into account to achieve the successful isolation, biochemical, and molecular characterization and then to evaluate the biotechnological potential of native microalgae of the Peruvian Amazon. Recent investigations reported by our research team has demonstrated that the isolated native microalgae from the Peruvian Amazon have a great potential for the biotechnological production of biodiesel and nutraceuticals. This biotechnological potential was identified thanks to the application of various protocols that were standardized by the authors over the last 5 years. In conclusion, the native microalgae of the Peruvian Amazon have biotechnological potential and are therefore promising for the production of both biodiesel and nutraceuticals. Various species of microalgae were identified, isolated, cultured, and characterized using biochemical, nutraceutical, and molecular techniques, the isolation stage being the starting point to achieve various biotechnological applications. Ankistrodesmus sp. is one of the microalgae with potential for the production of biodiesel and microalgae such as Haematococcus pluvialis, Scenedesmus sp., and Chlorella sp., among others demonstrated a high potential for nutraceutical production. The stress conditions to which microalgae are subjected are being a determining factor for the production of biodiesel and nutraceuticals.
Part of the book: Microalgae
Environmental pollution is a severe and common problem in all the countries worldwide. Various physicochemical technologies and organisms (e.g., plants, microorganisms, etc.) are used to address these environmental issues, but low-cost, practical, efficient, and effective approaches have not been available yet. Microalgae offer an attractive, novel, and little-explored bioremediation alternative because these photosynthetic organisms can eliminate pathogenic microorganisms and remove heavy metals and toxic organic compounds through processes still under study. Our research team has conducted some experiments to determine the bioremediation potential of native microalgae on some pollutant sources (i.e., leachate and wastewater) and its ability to remove hazardous chemical compounds. Therefore, in this chapter, we provide the results of our research and updated information about this exciting topic. Experiments were conducted under controlled culture conditions using several native microalgae species, variable time periods, different pollutant sources, and hazardous chemicals such as ethidium bromide. The results indicated that native microalgae can remove pollutants (i.e., phosphorus, ammonia, etc.) of wastewater, leachate, and some hazardous chemical compounds such as ethidium bromide. In conclusion, native microalgae have an excellent potential for removing several pollutants and, consequently, could be used to develop bioremediation technologies based on native microalgae from the Peruvian Amazon.
Part of the book: Progress in Microalgae Research