Biodiscoveries within the Australian plant genus Eremophila based on international and interdisciplinary collaboration: results and perspectives on outstanding ethical dilemmas

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In a cross-continental research initiative, including researchers in Australia and Denmark, and based on joint external funding by a 3-year grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, we have used DNA sequencing, extensive chemical profiling and molecular networking analyses across the entire Eremophila genus to provide new knowledge on the presence of natural products and their bioactivities using polypharmocological screens. Sesquiterpenoids, diterpenoids and dimers of branched-chain fatty acids with previously unknown chemical structures were identified. The collection of plant material from the Eremophila genus was carried out according to a 'bioprospecting agreement' with the Government of Western Australia. We recognize that several Eremophila species hold immense cultural significance to Australia's First Peoples. In spite of our best intentions to ensure that new knowledge gained about the genus Eremophila and any potential future benefits are shared in an equitable manner in accordance with the Nagoya protocol, we encounter serious dilemmas and potential conflicts in making benefit sharing with Australia's First Peoples a reality
Original languageEnglish
Article number15866
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)936-953
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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