It was with a view to the future and completely dedicated to biodiversity that this year Bioprospectum started its bioprospection project on natural molecules with biotechnological applications. The initial focus will be on antioxidants and substances with anti-inflammatory action.
The first expeditions took place in Portugal, the country which headquarters the company, in the region of the Peneda-Geres National Park, which is the only national park in Portugal. It is located in the Norte region, in the northwest of Portugal, specifically in the districts of Viana do Castelo, Braga, and Vila Real. The foothills of the Serra da Gerês, along with the foothills of the Serra da Cabreira, constitute the frontier between the Euro-Siberian and Mediterranean regions, conferring great floral and phytogeographical importance on the Peneda-Gerês (Proença, 2009).
The expeditions took place in 2018. Among the species of greatest interest to the team is the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra). The project is a partnership between the Institute for Investigation and Innovation in Health (i3S) and Bioprospectum, and it aims to survey the biotechnological potential of the anuran fauna of Portugal, to construct a germplasm bank and identify molecules with a potential for use in health. For Bioprospectum it is not only the biotechnology of the country that is at stake, but also the conservation of the environment involved, as it is impossible to truly preserve a region without knowing it profoundly.
Reference: Proença, Vânia Andreia Malheiro (2009), Galicio-Portuguese oak forest of Quercus robur and Quercus pyrenaica: biodiversity patterns and forest response to fire (PDF), Lisbon, Portugal: Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, p. 172.
Source: Bioprospectum, Lda.