Alkaloid Research Group
Our team is conducting research into alkaloids which have been identified initially in daffodils and some have already confirmed their potential as active pharmaceutical ingredients (API); galanthamine has been approved for early and moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease treatment since 2001; other, such as narciclasine and haemanthamine have anti-cancer, anti-leukemia or anti-inflammatory properties, therefore isolation these chemicals from daffodil biomass gives a new industrial biotechnology use for a non-food crop.
The aim of this research group is to provide information on the alkaloid profile of a wide range of genetic diversity, good agricultural practices and chemical extraction efficiency etc to secure the supply chain of daffodils for the UK Pharmaceutical industry which will lead to establishment of sustainable and scalable production of galanthamine and other alkaloids.
- Dr Xianmin Chang
Existing Projects / Collaborations:
- TSB/BBSRC (Agri-Tech Catalyst, Industrial Research Award ) “Yellow Gold: Innovative systems for sustainable daffodil-derived galanthamine production in the uplands”. 4.5 years project from 1 Jan 2015 to 31 May 2019. Dr Chang is Research consultant for the project.
- BBSRC/DEFRA LINK Project – Agronomic Processes to optimize galanthamine content of daffodil biomass (AGROGAL). (Oct 2011 – May 2016). 8 partners led by APL and coordinated by Dr Chang.
- Dr. Chang is member of “High Value Chemicals from Plants Network”, HVCfP, supported by BBSRC between Jan/2014 and Jan/ 2019.
- Daffodil Box Scheme – Suitable locations of growing daffodils for Galanthamine (2014 - ), supported by Kildare.
- International collaboration through APL in the last 7 years with partners from: Canada, France, Spain, Holland, Bulgaria, China (Mainland and Hong Kong), New Zealand, Chile, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
Two PhDs (registered with Liverpool University).
- Dr Jane Pulman, (2011- 2015), A transcriptomics approach to understanding polymorphic and transcript level differences linked to isoquinoline alkaloid production in triploid varieties of Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Obtained PhD degree in July 2015 at Liverpool University)
- Miss Aleya Ferdausi researching the biosynthesis of alkaloids in Narcissus. (2013 - )