Sieker Landstraße 2
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Fax: +49 33433 157 199
Methylsalicylate in Birch
Methylsalicylate is in particular present in various birch species. However, nowadays it is produced synthetically.
The anti-infection substance methyl salicylate (MeSA) is used in many medicinal products such as ointments for external use in muscle and joint pain as well as rheumatic complaints. Although methyl salicylate is naturally present in various birch species, it is now mainly produced synthetically. The use of the natural product is made more difficult by the fact that data on the MeSA content in the respective species are almost non-existent in the literature or hitherto no selection of birch trees rich in methyl salicylate has taken place. The aim of the project is to investigate the variations in methylsalicylate levels in different birch species, to determine the relationships between them, and to develop screening methods which enable rapid selection of birch trees with high productivity of biologically active ingredients. The innovative and interdisciplinary project thus promotes the ecologically sensible use of natural resources.
In the project, the variations of the methyl salicylate content between different birch species are investigated but also within the species as a function of the stage of development, the plant tissue (bark, leaves) and the season. Furthermore, molecular markers will be developed to unravel species affinity and hybridization status. In addition, genes involved in the biosynthesis of methyl salicylate in methyl salicylate-producing birch trees will be identified via a candidate gene approach.
External partner (Dr. Christian R. Moschner, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, University of Kiel)
Webpage of cooperation partner University of Kiel
6.2017 - 3.2021
Project status: ongoing