PhD thesis topic
Tannin Diversity of Cell Cultures from Nordic Plants: Characterization, Biosynthesis and Metabolism
(1) The creation of cell culture lines able to produce polyphenols, mainly ellagitannins and proanthocyanidins, in high quantities.
(2) New LC-MS analysis methods for the accurate and rapid qualitative and quantitative analysis of these cell cultures
(3) Further studies on the as-of-yet poorly-known aspects of ellagitannin and proanthocyanidin biosynthesis, metabolism, and bioactivity.
Several of the used plant species are threatened by climate change and other anthropogenic changes in nature. However, several of these plant species, which are rich in tannins and other phenolic compounds, are highly important raw material for e.g. the food industry. Therefore, mass production of this sort of natural-like plant material rich in phenolics in a controlled laboratory environment could lessen the need to use completely natural plant sources. The combination of modern LC-MS analysis possibilities, phytochemistry, and environmental conservation is something I'm really glad to be working on!
Results so far
A wide selection of cell cultures from various Nordic plant species have been screened for their polyphenol profile, and several of them show capability in producing complex tannins among other polyphenols. The first paper, focusing on this characterization, has been submitted for publication in late 2016. Method development and studies on the response of the cell cultures to various factors are currently being done. The work is mostly done within the BerryTannin project.