Bioproduction and bioavailability of steroidal saponins, bioactives in herbal medicines (2014–2017)
Steroidal saponins are a class of natural products that are common constituents of many herbal medicines and have been associated with many biological activities. Comprehensive studies into their biological activities are hampered by the small quantities available through isolation and the complexity of synthesis. The aim of this project is the identify, isolate and express the biosynthetic genes responsible for the critical steps in the synthesis of these compounds in the herbs themselves. This will allow for production of steroidal saponins using the isolated enzymes facilitating biological studies as well as allowing the production of critical standards required by the herbal industry for validation and regulation of herbal extracts.