A distinguished professor of biochemistry at Purdue University has landed a $1.4 million grant for studies related to the mint plant. The National Science Foundation funding will support Natalia Dudareva’s work to identify chemical compounds and how they form in more than a dozen species of mint.
The research could yield additional uses for the plant. "This research is not only important for the mint industry, but also for agriculture and medicine as plant species in this family produce a wide range of metabolites used as food additives, medicinal compounds and other industrial purposes."
Dudareva is part of a Michigan State University-led team that is sharing in $5.1 million from the NSF.
Purdue says the plant’s total estimated economic value of mint was around $200 million in 2012 in the U.S., but relatively little is known about mints.