Medicinal and Nutraceutical Plants
Division Chair: Diana Jasso de Rodríguez
Department of Plant Breeding
Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro (UAAAN)
Buenavista, 25315 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
Scope of the Division:
The goal of the division is to promote research and development activities in medicinal and nutraceutical crops to support various industries. Members of the division conduct research in several disciplines within these crops. Research is ongoing in germplasm selection, evaluation, cultivation, harvesting, processing, product development, and marketing of crops and their respective products. In addition, members also conduct research related to the agronomic, chemistry, genetics, quality, and biological activities of these crops.
Medicinal plants are defined as those plants containing phytochemicals, secondary metabolites, or primary metabolites that have a medicinal action in humans and animals. Nutraceutical plants produce healthy phytochemicals that are formulated and intake is in the form of capsules, tinctures, or tablets. Functional foods are a component of nutraceuticals and are consumed as foods, and not in dosage form.
Medicinal and nutraceutical plants offer a wide array of products utilized or can be utilized in the pharmaceutical and functional food industries.
The division is in preparation for the upcoming AAIC 28th annual meeting in Upstate New York, Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside, Rochester, NY at the end of September 2015. The area will provide participants to the meeting to learn about current research and development activities of AAIC members, but also to get to know Niagara Falls, located an hour and half driving time from Rochester.
The beautiful Upstate New York, including the city of Rochester is full of attractions and recreation activities, to get to know the flora of the state, that include many herbs, medicinal and aromatic plants (HMAP). This area of the state is also characterized by a wealth of health and research institutions, small scale farmers, processor and producers focusing on varied areas of HMAP.
The division encourages researchers to join the AAIC, participate in the upcoming meeting and become an active supporter of the division.
Diana Jasso de Rodriguez. Past-chair (2006-2009).
Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro (UAAAN), Saltillo, Coahuila, México.
Dr. Jasso de Rodriguez is a founding member of the division serving as a chair from 2006-09. Her research team is conducting active research in the areas of phytochemistry and biological activities of medicinal plants of northern Mexico and Southern US. Dr. Jasso is also an active researcher in the areas of Natural Rubber and Resins particularly on guayule.
Brad Morris, Geneticist (USDA-ARS PGRCU). Past-chair (2010-2013).
Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit
Dr. Morris served as a chair of the division from 2010 through 2013. His area of interest is in the characterization and evaluation of genetic resources. Plant and seed regeneration capacity, and genetic, morphological, phytochemical variability (fatty acid, flavonol, isoflavonoid), with a strong focus on medicinal and nutraceutical value of these plants.
Dipak Santra, Panhandle Research and Extension Center,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Scottsbluff, NE
Dr. Santra a plant breeder focusing on the phytochemical characterization and improvement of medicinal plants. He was recently awarded the best oral presentation of the division at the 2013 meeting in Washington DC, for his presentation on “Evaluation of Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) Germplasm for Diosgenin, Galactoamannan, and 4-Hydroxyisoleucine”.
Dr. José Ángel Villarreal Quintanilla
Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro
Dr. Villareal is conducting research in the botany and pharmacognosy of endemic and rare plants from Coahuila, México.
Members in this division have been conducting research in the following crops for their medicinal and nutraceutical attributes: