Drug synthesis in reproductive organs

This work focuses on dark glands development and biosynthesis of active compounds in Hypericum perforatumH. perforatum (Saint John’s wort) rose in the last decades as a commercially interesting species due to its multiple applications, ranging from the treatment of depression to the diagnosis and treatment of specific types of cancer. Recent research even suggests a possible application of Hypericum extracts in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

The dark and translucent glands of Hypericum are important accumulation sites of several metabolites (e.g. hypericin and hyperforin) of high pharmacological interest. In our lab, Dr. Rizzo is carrying out a deep characterization of glands formation in the reproductive tissues of H. perforatum. In particular, we perform transcriptome analysis and characterize specific tissues from a morphological and metabolic point of view using RNAseq, confocal microscopy, FTIR microscopy and mass spectrometry. The ultimate goal of this project (financed by Saxony-Anhalt and EFRE) is to discover new genes useful for the development of natural products based on H. perforatum.



For more information, see:

Tedeschi F, Rizzo P, Huong BT, Czihal A, Rutten T, Altschmied L, Scharfenberg S, Grosse I, Becker C, Weigel D, Bäumlein H and Kuhlmann M. 2018. EFFECTOR OF TRANSCRIPTION factors are novel plant-specific regulators associated with genomic DNA methylation in Arabidopsis. New Phytologist (accepted manuscript)


Galla G, Zenoni S, Avesani L, Altschmied L, Rizzo P, Sharbel FT, Barcaccia G. 2017. Pistil Transcriptome Analysis to Disclose Genes and Gene Products Related to Aposporous Apomixis in Hypericum perforatum L. Frontiers in Plant Science


Rizzo P. 2016. Novel insights on female gametophyte development in the apomictic model species Boechera spp . and Hypericum spp . PhD Thesis, Digital Library Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.


Tedeschi F, Rizzo P, Rutten T, Altschmied L, Bäumlein H. 2016. RWP-RK domain-containing transcription factors control cell differentiation during female gametophyte development in Arabidopsis. New Phytologist.