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Substances for Plant-Based Medicine


Development of Molecular-Genetic Approaches of Purposeful Search for Pharmacologically Active Substances for New Plant-Based Medicine Creation

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-IND/Industrial Biotechnology/Biotechnology
  • CHE-OTH/Other/Chemistry
  • MED-DRG/Drug Discovery/Medicine

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan / Biotechnology Institution, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek


  • Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK, Kew

Project summary

Project goal

Producing and selecting of unique pharmacologically relevant cultures and lines of Kyrgyzstan’s flora enabling characterization of their metabolites in locally well-known species to complete with widely used established medicinal plants and developing novel and innovative technology for cultivation and production (development of lab bioreactor), producing ecologically sustainable pure raw for medicinal purposes.

Current state of research. At present there is carried out active searching of new pharmacologically perspective plant species in the world. It is connected both with depletion of plant natural resources and with biotechnology development allowing to produce ecologically pure material for developing medicines of plant origin. Essential obstacle for successful work is insufficient quantity of initial plant species necessary for producing cultures and cell lines. Involving in research of flora of different world regions including hot spots, one of which is Kyrgyzstan, will allow extended potential of plant-based medicine.

The proposed Project is partially based on the results of ISTC Project #KR-973 which was implemented by our Lab in 2004-2008, the primary objective of which was the establishment of Kyrgyzstan’s wild flora germplasm bank.

In the Project framework photochemical analysis and selection of the most perspective species – producers of bioactive substances (flavonoids) of endemics, rare and economically valuable species was carried out.

As a result of screening a group of perspective plants of 97 species – mainly endemics was revealed. This fact shows importance and timeliness of present research implementing and necessity of taking measures for further study and development methods of endemic species conserving in the wild and in culture. For the most studied species presence and total quantity of flavonoids were determined for the first time. We carried out determination of qualitative and total content of flavonoids with thin layer chromatography, spectrophotometry and HPLC. Perspective species containing high quantity of main acting substances were revealed. Germplasm lines for carrying out of comparative researches were produced.

Our preliminary researches have shown high potential pharmacological capacities of Kyrgyzstan’s plant species.

Influence of proposed Project on progress in the given area. As a result of Project implementation cultures and unique germplasm lines will be selected, and technologies of accumulative plant biomass cultivation for deriving sufficient quantity of competitive valuable and ecologically sustainable raw material of medicinal plants will be developed, that at the same time will reduce losses of plant growing in the wild.

Expertise of Project participants in the given area. The staff of the Biotechnology Lab of the Biotechnology Institute participating in the Project has wide experience in plant secondary metabolites study which is confirmed by publications and appearances on international conferences which are available in web-site

Expected Results and Their Application.

During project implementation the following tasks are to be performed:

  • Unique pharmacologically perspective germplasm lines and root cultures of Kyrgyzstan’s plants will be produced.
  • Genetic fingerprinting of plants with molecular-genetic and biochemical markers will be carried out.
  • Biochemical composition and antioxidant activity of secondary metabolites of in vivo and in vitro produced plants and of root cultures will be determined.
  • The most perspective cultures and lines will be selected.
  • Morphological features of perspective cultures will be studied and conditions of their cultivation will be optimized.
  • Methods of producing of large-scale root cultures containing pharmacologically valuable substances will developed (development of lab bioreactor).
  • Expert system for experiment design on root biomass producing will be developed.
  • Kyrgyzstan’s flora seed genetic bank will be replenished.
  • Project data base will be reengineered and filled in.
  • Obtained as a result of work the technologies of secondary metabolites accumulation and the best cultures-producers will be offered to producers of medicines and to interested organizations for joint activity on development of the technological documentation and industrial samples of plants.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives

Project corresponds to the ISTC goals and objectives, as in its implementation experts possessing knowledge in area of weapons of mass destructions, while the Project itself has exclusively peaceful orientation. Moreover the Project corresponds to the ISTC target initiative 3D on development of medicines against various sicknesses and cancer. Project researches are directed to the solution of economic and social objectives, namely development of technology of producing valuable ecologically pure medical production and connected with biopersity conservation – genetic reserves of endemic, rare and threatened and economically valuable plant species. Also corresponding to these objectives is achieved by Project information sharing in international conferences and workshops.

Scope of Activities

During Project implementation the following work will be carried out:

  1. Screening of Kyrgyzstan’s flora plants for content of bioactive substances containing in roots. Collecting and identifying of pharmacologically perspective plant species. Replenishing of seed bank and herbarium collection.
  2. Carrying out complex researches on estimating of plant morphological features and their biosynthetic activity and selecting the most perspective species for approbation and use in biotechnology.
  3. Establishment of in vitro cultures and micropropagation of perspective species.
  4. Establishment of in vitro cultures of perspective species root cultures and optimization of cultivating conditions.
  5. Quantitative analysis, chromatographic fingerprinting and biochemical analysis using of biochemical markers, such as heterogeneity of DNA and proteins and content of phenolic substances and determination of antioxidant activity in native plants, in vitro cultures and isolated roots.
  6. Comparative biochemical testing cultures in planta and in vitro – selection of perspective cultures and germplasm lines.
  7. Optimization of media for cultivating elite germplasm lines.
  8. Fingerprinting of native plants and selected cultures and lines.
  9. Development of a lab bioreactor for large scale cultivation of cultures-producers raw material and determination of main conditions allowing optimal root grow.
  10. Development of an expert system for experimental design on biomass production.
  11. Reconstruction and maintenance of a data base for endemic, rare and economically valuable plan species that was developed during the previous project.
  12. Project results shared with the global scientific community through publication in international journals.

Role of Foreign Collaborators

Within the project we suppose cooperation with collaboration abroad: on information exchange in the process of conduct of the project, co-research and discussion of results, conduct of seminars and conferences.

Technical Approach and Methodology

During Project implementation a plethora of scientific methods will be used.

Methods and approaches used in the work are determined by professional research logic and correspond to scientific model. In the Project common methodological methods are distinguished: system, field, experimental, statistical.

During Project implementation the following methods and approaches will be used.

For introduction in culture and optimization of cultivation conditions, such as selection of mediums and in vitro cultivation conditions, composition of mediums, influence of light and temperature, longevity of cultivation period, methods of tissue cultures and isolated plant organs will be used.

Method of accumulative cultivation of plant tissues in sterile and non-sterile conditions will be used.

Molecular- genetic fingerprinting with using PCR, TLC, spectrophotometry and HPLC will be used.

Biological activity will be determined according to antioxidant activity. Antioxidant activity will be determined by photometrical methods.

For development of the expert system approach based on cognitive modelling and other methods of intellectual computer system development will be used.

Data processing will be carried out according to Project material accumulation. At the end of each quarter information will be processed, at the end of each year annual report will be drawn up, and at the end of Project a final report will be submitted.

Data derived during Project implementation will be published.

It is planned to lead actions on work results presentation – workshops, working reports etc. Dates are presented in the technical planned schedule.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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