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The Food and Environment Research Agency
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Executive Summary
Introduction
Methodology
The UK Forest Resource
Secondary Metabolites From Trees
Non-Timber Markets For Trees
Extraction Technologies For Tree Metabolites
Adding Value To Tree Metabolites
Further Research
Modelling Tools
Methodology
Information was collated on the primary and secondary metabolites of alder (Alnus glutinosa), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), aspen (Populus tremula), beech (Fagus sylvatica), birch (Betula pendula, Betula pubescens), cherry (Prunus avium), Corsican pine (Pinus nigra), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), larch (Larix decidua, Larix kaempferi), oak (Quercus robur, Quercus petraea), poplar (Populus nigra, Populus gileadensis, Populus alba, Populus trichocarpa), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and willow (Salix alba, Salix fragilis).
This information was extracted from commercial and in-house databases and included bibliographic databases (e.g. Dialog with access to over 500 scientific databases), phytochemical databases, research papers, conference proceedings, books, unpublished reports and company literature. In total over 37,000 records published over the last three decades gathered and interrogated.
Data extracted from these records included, the metabolites identified, the tissues from which they were extracted (e.g. bark, leaves, heartwood, roots), reported yields, properties, hazards, CAS No.'s (compound-specific identifier codes), extraction methodologies, approaches to transform and 'add-value' to the metabolites, and current and future market potential for these tree products.
The search for novel applications for the tree metabolites was augmented by computer-aided Quantitative-structure activity relationship modelling (QSAR). This is a technique increasingly adopted by pharmaceutical companies in their search for new products. Using computer-aided molecular design software and expertise we built 3D-representations of key tree metabolites. We then incorporated these simulations into our models and were able to predict the potency of tree metabolites as antimicrobials and subsequently identify possible applications for these materials. All this was achieved without the need for expensive and technically exacting laboratory screening tests.
The information collated on tree metabolites was substantial. To improve accessibility the data has been tabulated in, and using hyperlinks, can be searched by either species or chemical of interest.
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