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