Bioactive Compounds of Camu-Camu (Myrciaria dubia (Kunth) McVaugh)

Juan C. Castro, J. Dylan Maddox, Marianela Cobos, Jae D. Paredes, Jorge L. Marapara, Janeth Braga, Sixto A. Imán, Hicler N. Rodríguez, Carlos G. Castro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Camu-camu is a shrub native to the Amazon that thrives in areas where flooding is frequent. Genetically, the plant is characterized by a diploid genome and moderate genetic diversity. Several parts of the plant are used in traditional folk medicine to treat a variety of acute and chronic diseases. For over 50 years, the exceptionally high vitamin C content of camu-camu has attracted worldwide attention that continues today because of the recent discovery of several health-promoting phytochemicals with corroborated biological activities (e.g., antioxidant, anti-obesity, antidiabetic). All of these beneficial attributes are well supported by in vitro and in vivo studies as well as human clinical trials. The metabolic precursors of these phytochemicals are synthesized in key metabolic pathways (i.e., the shikimate pathway, the mevalonate pathway). Of these metabolic pathways, we show details for the biosynthesis of betulinic acid, trans-resveratrol, and syringic acid. In conclusion, camu-camu is an exceptional plant for its ability to produce and accumulate significant amounts of a variety of health-promoting phytochemicals. Although several metabolic pathways responsible for the biosynthesis of these phytochemicals have been reconstructed based on fruit and seedling transcriptomes, detailed knowledge of the vast majority of metabolic pathways and their molecular regulatory mechanisms is lacking. Consequently, we must increase our knowledge of the metabolic processes using multi-omic approaches so that we can acquire the skills necessary to develop genetically improved varieties of camu-camu and implement biotechnological applications for the production of these bioactive phytochemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference Series in Phytochemistry
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameReference Series in Phytochemistry
ISSN (Print)2511-834X
ISSN (Electronic)2511-8358

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Bioactive compounds
  • Biosynthetic pathways
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Phytochemicals
  • Polyphenols


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