Project title: Croatian Veronica species: Phytotaxonomy and Biological Activity

Acronym: CROVeS-PhyBA

Project identifier: IP-2020-02-8425

Type of project: Research Project

Funding body: Croatian science foundation (HrZZ)

Project duration: January, 11. 2021.- January, 10. 2025.


Comparative phytochemical studies on the specialized metabolites have shown close association between systematics and phytochemistry in the taxonomy of the plant species. Genus Veronica belonged to the Scrophulariaceae family based on molecular researches it has been transferred to the Plantaginaceae family. It is divided into 13 subgenuses according to morphological features. In Croatia, species of the genus Veronica are spread over a variety of habitats and are used in folk medicine and nutrition, especially V. officinalis. For this genus bounded volatile compounds – iridoid glycosides are well studied, whose distribution in genus Veronica coincides with the findings of molecular phylogeny. Research on the project CROVeS-PhyBA will be based on the identification of free volatile compounds and their distribution among selected Veronica species.

The results will be used for two main goals: (1) Conclusion on the possibility of using free volatile compounds as phytotaxonomic markers and (2) Biological activity of the isolates.

Specific objectives are: (1) Collection of selected Veronica plants, with monitoring of environmental factors for each location; (2) Isolation of volatile compounds and phenolic substances, identification of phytochemical composition; (3) Genetic analyses for more accurate identification of the collected species. By comparing phytochemical distribution of volatile compounds and their genetics we will conclude on potential new phytotaxonomic markers for Veronica genus. (4) Cultivation of selected speedwells under controlled conditions, investigation of their phytochemical composition and comparison with results of species from natural habitat; (5) Biological activity of isolates of plants from natural habitats and cultivated.

By comparing the results we will conclude on the potential use of these plants in pharmacology. The research will contribute to a more sustainable use of Croatian Veronica species and their popularization.

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