Amazonian Natural Substances Laboratory

The Amazonian Natural Substances Research Group is a chemistry laboratory located at the Pasteur Institute campus in Cayenne, French Guiana. Our group is composed of 3 young researchers: Dr. Christophe Duplais (assistant professor CNRS since 2011), Dr. Emeline Houël (research engineer, CNRS), Dr. Guillaume Odonne (research engineer, CNRS) as well as an engineer and a technician hired on contract. Over the past 7 years the group, led by Dr. Didier Stien (now at ICSN, Gif sur Yvette), has developped interdisciplinary approaches to detect Amazonian natural substances of interest and to study defense or communication secondary metabolites.

Many molecules have been isolated from wood, plants, microorganisms for various medicinal (antimalarial, antileshmanial, antifungal) or agriculture applications (insecticides, fungicides) or with a view to preserving woods or searching for new raw materials in perfumery. In order to effectively identify compound with the desired activity, innovative screening methods have been developed based on ethnopharmacology, chemical ecology and bioinspiration. These research projects are ongoing and new issues are currently being developed. As part of these projects, related to the development and understanding of the role of secondary metabolites from Amazonian ecosystems, collaborative work has been done with the CNRS-Guyane (USR 3456), teams of ICSN (NHP – Natural Substances Pole Plants – Dr. Françoise Guéritte and the Natural Substances and Biodiversity team – Dr. Didier Stien) and UMR BioCIS (Dr. Bruno Figadère, Dr. Alexandre Maciuk).

The chemistry laboratory is currently equipped with two HPLC columns (an analytical system with a light scattering detector and a diode array detector, and a semi-preparative UV detector with a dual wavelenght), a Varian NMR spectrometer (400 MHz), a GC/MS, and all the equipment necessary for the manipulation of natural products chemistry and organic chemsitry (distillers, rotative evaporators, speedvac …). The laboratory is also equipped with a biosafety cabinet.

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