XtremeDrugs: Halophyte plants from extreme environments as sources of health promoting commodities

Type: 
Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
programme: 
EMBC+
XtremeDrugs: Halophyte plants from extreme environments as sources of health promoting commodities Halophytes are naturally salt-tolerant plants able to grow in extreme locations characterized by high temperature and salinity conditions, such as coastal sand dunes, salt marshes, salt flats and steppes. In order to withstand environmental constraints and cope with oxidative stress, halophytes are endowed with eco-physiological mechanisms and powerful antioxidant defence systems, usually molecules displaying important biological activities. Those molecules include vitamins, phenolics, polysaccharides and glycosides, displaying a vast array of activities, such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumoural. In turn, these bioactivities can be crucial for the prevention of several diseases: e.g., cancer, chronic inflammation and cardiovascular disorders. In fact, halophytes are considered an outstanding and almost unexploited reservoir of novel functional foods and bioactive compounds. This work intends to unravel the biotechnological potential of selected halophyte plants present in extreme locations of the Algarve as sources of bioactive molecules with potential use as health promoting commodities, either as functional foods and/or functional ingredients.
Number of students: 
2
academic year: 
2015-2016
Contact person email: 
contact person first name: 
Luisa Custódio
Other people involved: 
Luísa Barreira
Institutes Involved: 
Reference Number: RP-35562