Domestication of new species

Cultivating new species that were only growing wild, in order to :

  • Develop new products
  • Secure its suplly
  • Standardize the vegetal material used as raw material
  • Respond to scarcity or picking prohibition in nature

Exemples

Mountain arnica

Mountain arnica (Arnica montana) Very ancient medicinal plant well known for its vulneary properties in external use and registered in the pharmacopoeia, mountain arnica is a protected species. Picking in nature is strictly ruled. Putting it into culture would enable guaranteeing a sustainable supply. During nearly 10 years, Mediplant worked at the domestication of this alpine species, by researching the origins more suited to putting into culture. The cultivation schedule, the plantation density, the yield potential but also the knowledge of diseases and pests were studied to gather the necessary information to set up commercial cultures.

Willow erb (Epilobium parviflorum)

This species is known for resarches about its efficiency in the treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia. Mediplant looked into the putting into culture of this new plant. This multi-disciplinary process requested, among others, to tackle various subjects such as ecology and botany of the species, its floral biology, its morphological and phytochemical variability and to define the cultivation requirements. A considerable variability related to its tolerance to powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca epilobii) was observed. This pathogen was used as a marker to determine the cross-fertilisation rate for this species and thus specify the selection scheme.

May apple (Podophyllum hexandrum)

This berbéridacea, also named Indian apple, is endemic to the Himalayan chain. Its underground apparatus is researched for the production of semi-synthetic byproducts such as etoposid, for the treatment of some cancers. Victim of its success, this species is now becoming scarce. Only its putting into culture can allow sustaining on the production of these drugs and save the species. One of the main barriers for its culture is its very difficult germination. Mediplant was entrusted to study the favourable parameters for the propagation of this species by drilling to set up a culture. Numerous germination tests were carried out to pinpoint the reasons for this capricious germination. Recommendations could be defined for setting up these nurseries.

New species

Mediplant cares for offering tomorrow new production and application perspectives in the branche of aromatic, medicinal and cosmetic plants. To this effect, our centre carries out prospective actions on various species that could meet a development in the coming years.

The aim is to obtain knowledge (literature, variability gathering, adaptation in our climatic conditions, application, …) that could lead to experimentations or industrial cooperation. Our location in the centre of the Alpine ark gives us access to the formidable genetic tank constituted by the mountain flora.