The overarching goal of this project was to establish the Global Institute for Bio-Exploration in the Mediterranean Partner Countries (GIBEX-MED Hub) – composed of four partners in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Spain and Greece. This network of bio exploration centers aim was to teach and support the use of screening technology for exploring the vast unexplored local flora.
The Mediterranean flora can be a source of new products and thereby stimulate the local economy of Mediterranean countries by creating new sources of industrial development and jobs for its people. All of this was planned to be done in a way that would protect the environment, the flora and especially threatened plant species. The educational programs aimed to increase the public’s awareness of the value of the native flora and the importance of conserving it.
Within the four centers, the plan was to evaluate and screen 4,000 (4X1000) plant samples for more than 14 medicinal activities in a process that integrates the collaborative research of 4 countries in the Mediterranean area. The idea was to scientifically prove the medicinal activity of the plants – some of which are commonly known to have medicinal effect and others as yet undiscovered.
After the first half of the project (year 1) the centers were set up and operational; run by people who had been trained within the project during the first year. During the second year, the focus was on continued screening of new plants in many regions within the four centers while promising plant samples were investigated in depth toward possible exploitation. Eight new screens were developed and publication of results, knowledge transfer and meetings with target end users for exploitation were the focus activities. Horizontal activities including building the database of plant bioactivity, dissemination and exploitation continued throughout the second year.
By the end of the project the four partners together screened as many as 4,521 (of which 1471 were screened by the Palestinian team) plant samples from 2,089 plant species (of which 588 species were screened by the Palestinian team). Plants that demonstrated high levels of bio-activity were further investigated using dose response studies. By the end of the project a number of promising plant samples were selected for their outstanding specific medicinal activities. These will be further researched together with end user industrial teams, taken to the next stages of commercialization where possible. In addition, new screens were developed by the partners (1 new screen was developed, and 4 other screens were modified by the Palestinian team) and added to the GIBEX Screens-to-nature (STN) manual which is open for use on an international level with the support of GIBEX. All the results and methods were shared among the consortium and uploaded to the Bioxplore database, open to all partners.
The Bioxplore project, during its implementation, opened doors to new collaborations among local researchers and industrial partners. The knowledge from traditional medicinal people/Healers was investigated using the scientific screening technology and collaboration with SME’s enabled further in-depth investigation of the plants of interest.
The Bioxplore project disseminated information and raised awareness to stakeholders including students and researchers and citizens at large to the knowledge, to the awareness and to the importance of the local medicinal plants.
Scientific results were published in more than 10 peer reviewed papers were published by the whole consortium.
- Jamous RM, Abu Zaitoun SY, Husein AI, Qasem IBY, Ali-Shtayeh MS (2015). Screening for Biological Activities of Medicinal Plants Used in Traditional Arabic Palestinian Herbal Medicine. European Journal of Medicinal Plants 9(1): 1-13.
- Ali-Shtayeh M. S., Jamous Rana M., Abu Zaitoun Salam Y. (2015). A Comprehensive Science-Based Field Assessment of Bioactive Properties of the Native Plants of Palestine. Journal of Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Development 2015, 2:3 http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2376-0214.1000151
- Abu-Reidah IM, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Arráez-Román D, Segura-Carretero A (2015). Comprehensive metabolite profiling of Arum palaestinum (Araceae) leaves by using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Food Research International 70 (2015) 74–86. 30. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2015.01.023
- Abu-Reidah IM, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Arráez-Román D, Segura-Carretero A. (2015). HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS screening of bioactive components from Rhus coriaria L. (Sumac) fruits. Food Chemistry 166:179-191. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.06.011
- Abu-Reidah, IM, Jamous RM, and Ali-Shtayeh MS. (2014). Phytochemistry, Pharmacological Properties and Industrial Applications of Rhus coriaria L. (Sumac): A Review. Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences (JJBS) 7(4):233 - 244.
- Husein AI, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Abu Zaitoun SY, Jondi, WJ, and Zatar NA-A. (2014). Antimicrobial activities of six plants used in Traditional Arabic Palestinian Herbal Medicine. African Journal of Microbiology Research 2014. 8(38):3501-3507.
- Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Abu Zaitoun SY, and Qasem IB. (2014). In-vitro screening of acetylcholinestrase inhibitory activity of extracts from Palestinian indigenous flora in relation to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Functional Foods in Health and Disease 4(9):381-400.
- Ali-Shtayeh, MS, Jamous, RM, & Abu-Zaitoun, SY. (2014). BERC 2014 "National list of Medicinal Plants in Palestine - West Bank and Gaza Strip". Til, Nablus: Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center (BERC).
- Husein AI, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jondi WJ, Zatar N, Abu-Reidah IM, Jamous RM. (2014). In vitro antioxidant and antitumor activities of six selected plants used in the Traditional Arabic Palestinian herbal medicine. Pharmaceutical Biology 52(10):1249–1255.
- Husein AI, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Jondi WJ, Zatar NA. (2014). Phthalate derivatives are naturally occurring in Arum palaestinum. International Journal of Current Research and Academic Review 01/2014; 2(9):195-203.
- Husein AI, Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jondi WJ, Zatar NA, and Al-Nuri MA (2014). High performance liquid chromatographic method for quantitative determination of emodin in Rumex Cyprius Marb, spectrophotometric studies. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR) (2014) 18: 217-222
- Husein A, Jondi W, Ali-Shtayeh M S, Zatar N (2014). Synthesis of novel biologically active mono acid esters derived from the constituents of Urtica pilulifera. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (IJPR) Vol. 13 Issue 4, p1173.
- Husein, A. I., Al-Nuri, M. A., Zatar, N. A., Jondi, W., Ali-Shtayeh, M. S., & Warad, I. (2012). Isolation and antifungal evaluation of Juglans regia L Extracts. International Journal of Research and Reviews in Applied Sciences, IJRRAS 13 (2), 655-660.
Salam Y. J. Abu-Zaitoun (2014). In-vitro evaluation of acetylcholinesterase inhibition and antioxidant activity of selected Palestinian medicinal plants: Implications for Alzheimer’s disease therapy. MSc thesis, An-Najah University, Nablus.
- M. S. Ali-Shtayeh, R. M. Jamous, S. Y. Abu Zaitoun, I. B. Qasem. (2014). In-vitro screening of acethylcholinestrase inhibitory activity of extracts from Palestinian indigenous flora in relation to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. BERC 3rd Conference on “Bio-Exploration of Valuable Natural Products Derived from Palestinian Flora: From Biodiversity to Bioindustry 2014” 26-27 March 2014, At Alqasr Hotel, Univ. Str., Nablus, Palestine.
- M. S. Ali-Shtayeh, R. M. Jamous, S. Y. Abu Zaitoun, I. B. Qasem. (2014): in vitro activities of selected Palestinian herbs relevant to treatment of diabetes. BERC 3rd Conference on “Bio-Exploration of Valuable Natural Products Derived from Palestinian Flora:From Biodiversity to Bioindustry 2014” 26-27 March 2014, At Alqasr Hotel, Univ. Str., Nablus, Palestine.
- A.I. Husein, M. S. Ali-Shtayeh, R. M. Jamous, S. Y. Abu Zaitoun, I. B. Qasem. (2014). Antioxidant, total phenolics and total flavonoids of eleven plants used in Traditional Arabic Herbal Medicine (TAPHM). BERC 3rd Conference on “Bio-Exploration of Valuable Natural Products Derived from Palestinian Flora:From Biodiversity to Bioindustry 2014” 26-27 March 2014, At Alqasr Hotel, Univ. Str., Nablus, Palestine.
- M. S. Ali-Shtayeh, R. M. Jamous, S. Y. Abu Zaitoun, I. B. Qasem. (2014). In vitro screening of acethylcholinestrase (ache) inhibitory activity of extracts from palestinian indigenous flora in relation to the treatment of alzheimer's disease. 15th International Conference of FFC - Third International Symposium of ASFFBC: Mental, Neurological and other Chronic Disorders: Biomarkers, Bioactive Compounds, and Functional Foods, Regensburg, Germany; 05/2014
- S.Y. Abu Zaitoun, R.M. Jamous, I.B. Qasem, M.S. Ali-Shtayeh. In-vitro screening of acethylcholinestrase inhibitory activity of extracts from Palestinian indigenous flora in relation to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.4th Conference of Biotechnology Research and Application in Palestine. Arab American University, Jenin, Palestine. March 21,2016