TERRA POWER works side-by-side with ROMB LTD /Research Organization & Manufacture of Bioproducts/ – an R&D company with over 30 years of experience in the field of Biotechnology.
Since its foundation in 1991, ROMB LTD has been researching and developing products based on biologically active substances of plant, microbial or animal origin, their isolation and potential application in medicine, pharmacy, food industry, agriculture and ecology. Currently the company’s main area of activity is the production of active substances of microbial origin and research & development activities in this particular field.
The main focus of the laboratory is the study of secondary metabolites of plant and microbial origin – cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, aminoacids.
Main objects of study are microbial biomass, microbial culture fluid, plant biomass and plant extracts.
The laboratory specializes in various extractions of one or more target components from a mixture through developed and validated in-house analytical methods. Sampling methods include extraction with organics, freon and CO2.
Classical and modern analyses are performed to determine proteins, carbohydrates and secondary metabolites – colorimetric, spectrophotometric and chromatographic.
Chromatography is the most powerful and comprehensive technique in modern chemical analysis. It can separate very complex mixtures of their constituent components and at the same time give a quantitative measure of each constituent.
Our lab runs its tests with gas chromatograph (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) (Shimadzu). The two chromatographs work differently, through FID and UV detectors, so their combined analysis gives information about the quantity of cannabinoids in biomass, as well as in hemp/cannabis derived products. The data includes both basic, and acidic cannabinoid forms.
As terpenes are volatile compounds, their evaluation has to be done by using GC, and it provides data regarding their presence or absence, as well as regarding the ratios between the different terpenes in the plant biomass. This method also works well with end products.
Department of Cell and Tissue Cultures
The activities performed consist of in vitro micropropagation of explants and induction of callus of meristematic, leaf, stem, root tissues and explants.
The plant material is used to create callus cultures/calli – undifferentiated plant biomass with the ability of plants to regenerate an entire plant from each cell/explant.
The main focus of the laboratory is to clone viable, virus-free and disease-free plant material, to induce trichome callus and adventitious root cultures. Increased synthesis of secondary metabolites in a variety of plant meristem and calli tissues is enhanced on a variety of nutrient media, as well as by the addition of a range of phytohormones, vitamins and precursors of biologically active substances. Of interest are the unique substances secreted by the plants – cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, phytohormones and more.
A new trend is the selection of varieties with improved quality and higher yields, as well as the production of intra- and interspecific hybrids within the family, as well as increasing the quality and quantity of secondary metabolites and biologically active substances by using classical and modern genetic methods.
The laboratory has developed in-house laboratory methods and optimized nutrient media for inducing callus from all types of explants (leaves, stems, roots, flower fruits and buds, pollen) from all working varieties and regeneration of calli cultures from low-density cell cultures.
The laboratory team is constantly striving to expand the scope of activities, and to this end, more and more innovative experiments are being conducted that could find a place in modern innovative biotechnology solutions. Plant biotechnology is a complex science involving many fields. We follow the current trends in the field, both in mass production and in research.
This is where we isolate and run tests with various microorganisms – both beneficial microbes that are included in our formulations, as well as pathogens isolated from the soil that we research how to fight off.
The laboratory has its own collection of fungi and bacteria. After their isolation, identification and molecular characterisation, we run tests to evaluate the strains’ efficacy as biocontrol agents on different targets, as well as their bio-stimulant action. Strains that show the best results are selected to be incorporated into our microbial fertilizers. We identify the best conditions under which these microbes grow in the lab and scale-up this process to the industrial level.
Another field of research is the identification of organic compounds of microbial origin. One example is the production of amino acids. Our laboratory has already developed protocols for the production of L-Tryptophan, L-Valine and L-Lysine using bacterial strains.
Amino acids find important application in agriculture, as they have broad effect on plant growth and development. Each plant, and each living organism in general, requires certain components in order to grow and develop, both in the soil and above it. The main building blocks are proteins, which consist of amino acids.
When a plant is under stress caused either by high/low temperatures, drought, or pests, amino acids participate directly in the physiological response to this stressor, and therefore, can be utilizes both as a medicine, or as prevention. For example, Valine improves fruit quality and is associated with maturation; it supports the plant during drought and high salt conditions; it assists seed germination.
Оther important biologically active substances produced by microbial strains are enzymes and other proteins, phytohormones etc.
We also conduct research on micro algae species and extraction of their endo metabolites to examine their impact on plant growth and development.
IN VIVO EXPERIMENTS