Biotechnological production of plant sources of health-promoting substances for the human digestive tract (gut brain)

The project aims to co-cultivate the terrestrial orchids with mycorrhizal fungi to initiate antifungal compountds followed with antifungal test against candida albicans; cultivation of medical plant menyanthes trifoliata for leaves production. Both products could heal the human intestine.

Non-specific health problems, auto-immune diseases including thyroid gland disorders, fatigue syndrome, neurological disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, etc., may be caused by attenuated immunity, high stress in combination with inappropriate diet, often a high proportion of fats and sugars dominate, causing shortage of natural vitamins and biologically bound mineral elements such as iodine, iron, magnesium. A diet rich in specific plant species is also a source of antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory compounds, and supportive substances including fiber, all of which contribute to the body’s adaptation and, in particular, can be beneficial to people exposed to high stress and aging people. Naeurological problems often get worse when the undesirable microflora is overflowing in the intestines (gut brain), releasing toxins into the bloodstream and thus negatively affecting the central nervous system. The state of health gradually deteriorates. The promising way is to ensure 'clean' – a healthy environment in the intestines. Certain plant species are exceptionally rich of beneficial compounds those are Dactylorhiza, Orchis species and Menyantes trifoliata L.. In the previous EUREKA project, a process of multiplication and cultivation of terrestrial orchids under controlled conditions in-vitro for optimized levels of energy inputs has been developed. Terrestrial orchids live in natural conditions, however, in symbiosis with specific fungal microorganisms and create orchid mycorrhiza. The aim of the present project is to develop a prototype of a healthy drink produced from natural raw materials that will not contain added sugar and will have a defined composition, including specific plant substances produced under controlled conditions from certain plant species. These choosen plants are not commonly available because they are strictly protected in the nature. Specific plants for the purpose of this project are terrestrial orchids (Dactylorhiza, Orchis) and Menyantes trifoliata L. The project will focus on the possibility of co-cultivating selected species of Dactylorhiza and orchis with different types of orchid mycorrhizal fungi. Successfully grown plants will be pressed / extracted and their extracts will be applied to the culture medium which will then be inoculated with the pathogenic organism Candida albicans and the antifungal activity of these extracts will be monitored. C. albicans is yeast belonging to Askomycota. Although it commonly occurs in humans as part of a normal oral and intestinal microflora, it can cause serious complications sometimes leading to death if it develops in fibrous form. The best result in suppressing the growth of C. albicans will lead to the selection of an in-vitro system of symbiotic cultivation of selected species of terrestrial orchid and orchid mycorrhizal fungi. The co-cultivation system will be validated on both in-vitro and ex-vitro plants. To exclude competitive fungal organisms, mycoparasitic fungus Phythium oligandrum will be used. Metabolites of the terrestrial orchids will be tested for better defining the resulting product (this special work will be ordered at an academic or university institute). Symbiotic orchid mycorrhizal fungi will be analysed by DNA using internal transcribed spacer. These activities will allow precise control of the authenticity of microorganisms throughout the process. The control will prevent the shift in metabolite formation which is absolutely essential. The final product will not endanger valuable plants under nature conservation. The second main activity will be the introduction of the Menyanthes trifoliata L. cultivation system under controlled conditions in-vitro and ex-vitro. This is a plant species, which is currently severely retreating from the nature due to its small adaptability to changing environmental conditions. In the Czech Republic it is already protected by law. The drug (dried leaves) contains bitter substances; it is typical stomachicum and amarum. There are no side effects in known treatment doses. It is used to eliminate digestive problems including disorders of nervous origin. It has a beneficial effect on intestinal peristalsis. It is the source of organically bound iodine - an element essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. If a system of multiplication and production under controlled conditions will be introduced, the juice of Menyantes trifoliata L. will be part of the final product as one of the variants.
Project ID: 
12 210
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 500 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

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