B.Sc.(Carl.), Ph.D.(Carl.)P.D.F. (UBC)
Professor - Chemical ecology
Mailing Address: Biology Department, University
of Ottawa, 30 Marie Curie, P.O. Box 450,
Station A, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
Office: Gendron 270, Lab: CAREG 429
Fax: (613) 562-5765
Telephone: (613) 562-5262
Current Research Interests
1. Chemical ecology
Co-evolution of plants and their pests has led to the diversification of
plants and insects as well as the biochemical defenses of plants, known as
secondary metabolites or phytochemicals. Our research
group has studied in detail several types of phytochemical
defenses in plant families including light activated phytochemicals
of the sunflower family, insect antifeedant defenses
of the mahogany family, neurotoxins and synergists of the pepper family, and dehydrodiferulate dimers in
cereals. The adaptive response of insects and other pests to these defenses and
their applications have been another focus of this research. Currently, our
discovery program is studying rare plant families of the neotropics
in collaboration with Costa Rican researchers in order to discover new and
potentially useful natural plant products.
2. Ethnopharmacology and medicinal plants
Knowledge of biologically active medicinal plant species in world floras is
perhaps greatest among traditional healers. We are collaborating with groups of
healers in various locations to better record and understand their
pharmacopoeias, the biological activity of their plants and the cultural
context of their traditional medicine. The use of antimalarial
and antifungal plants is a focus of this research.
Legislation enacted this year allows therapeutic use of botanical drugs in Canada yet our
native medicinal flora remains largely unstudied. We are studying some native
species of medicinal plants in detail for the first time to characterize their
mode of action, to improve quality assurance, safety and efficacy as well as
evaluate the potential of each species to produce harmful drug interactions.
Our group is investigating new botanical drugs for the treatment of anxiety, to
treat preventable complications in diabetes and to combat the problem of
antibiotic resistance in collaborative projects. The newly constructed phytochemical facility at the University of Ottawa
is used to identify and quantify active principles in the plants and in animal
models using HPLC/MS. The facility allows study of variation in the phytochemical profiles of native germplasm,
to develop cleaner and solvent free extracts through supercritical carbon
dioxide extraction and with specific groups of compounds for bioassay
evaluation. Advanced evaluation of selected species as antivirals
and antimicrobials is being undertaken using DNA and proteomic array methods.
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- J.T. Arnason, R. Mata and J.
Romeo 1995. Phytochemistry of
Medicinal Plants. Plenum.
- S.E. Binns, B.R. Baum and J.T. Arnason, 2002.
A taxonomic revision of Echinacea, Systematic Botany
27 : 610-632
- S.E. Binns et al.,
2002. Phytochemistry of the genus Echinacea,
J. Agric. Food Chem. 50:3673-87
- R. Awad, J.T. Arnason, V. Trudeau, C.
Bergeron, J.W. Budzinski, B.C. Foster and Z. Merali, 2003. Phytochemical and biological analysis of Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora
L.): A medicinal plant with anxiolytic
properties. Phytomedicine, in press.
A., L.M. Reid, J. H. Taylor, D. Johnston, C. Malouin,
A. Burt, B. Bakan, C. Regnault-Roger, P. Pauls, J.T. Arnason, and B.J.R. Philogene,
2003. Dehydrodimers of ferulic
acid in maize grain pericarp and aleurone: Resistance factors to Fusarium
S. Mechanda, J. Livesey, S.E.Binns,
and J.T. Arnason, 2001. Predicting quantitative phytochemical
markers in single Echinacea plants or clones from their DNA
fingerprints. Phytochemistry. 56:543-9.
- S. Omar, J. Zhang, P. Tamez, J.M. Pezzuto, D. Leaman, H. Sangat-Roemantayo,
Y. Rasali, B.J.R. Philogene,
T. Durst and J.T. Arnason, 2003. Traditionally used antimalarials.
Curr. Top. Med. Chem. 3: 21-27.
- C. Ficker,
M. L.Smith, S. Susiarti,
D.J. Leaman, and J.T. Arnason, 2002. Inhibition
of human pathogenic fungi by species of the Zingiberaceae
used by the Kenyah people, Borneo,
J. Ethnopharmacol. 85 :289-93
- S.E. Binns, J.B.Hudson, S. Merali and J.T.
Arnason, 2002. Antiviral activity of extracts of Echinacea
against Herpes simplex virus, Planta
Medica 68 : 80-3
- I.M. Scott, E. Puniani, T. Durst, D. Phelps, S. Merali, P. Sanchez
-Vindas L. Poveda B. Philogene and J.T. Arnason,
2001. Inseciticdal action of Piper tuberculatum extracts. Agr.
& Forest Entomol.
J.T.Arnason, A. Aubrey, J. Mullin and I. Lemaire, 2001 Extractable polysaccharides of Panax quinquefolius.
Root stimulates TNF alpha productionby alveolar
macrophages. International Journal of Phytotherapy
and Phytopharmacology 9(5):398-404.
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