BioFoundry: Discovery and Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules
Plants possess an array of primary and secondary metabolites that are not only the source of food and beverages but also provide numerous medicinal and industrial products. Identification, production, and use of natural products are fast growing and emerging fields with tremendous potential for innovative research in improving human health and the global economy. The Plant and Microbial Innovation groups are stewards of a unique asset for the discovery of new molecules with commercial value, a recently acquired a plant cell culture library (PCCL) comprised of ~2200 species of plants. This is the largest known collection of its kind and provides a renewable source of diverse plant material for the discovery of valuable natural products and the genes that encode their synthesis. The Plant and Microbial Innovation projects using the PCCL include screening PCCL extracts for novel antimicrobial compounds and optimizing the induction of natural product synthesis in the PCCL species for subsequent high throughput screens.