Incorporating daffodil-derived galanthamine production into upland grassland systems

Mariecia Fraser, John Richard Thomas Davies, Gareth Edwin Rowlands, Xianmin Chang

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Galantamine is a pharmaceutical compound that has been an approved Alzheimer's disease treatment since 1998. Galantamine can be produced from the alkaloid galanthamine extracted from plants, but supplies are limited. Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) are the only economically feasible plant source for cultivation in many parts of the world. An initial study tested an innovative approach for producing daffodil-derived galanthamine based on integrating daffodil growing into existing marginal pasture; avoiding the need to plough the land. Experimental lines of daffodils were established under upland permanent pasture. Over 80% of bulbs successfully established at each site. There was no effect of planting site or planting density on galanthamine concentrations within vegetative tissues, which were higher than anticipated. The results confirm that planting daffodils under grass in upland areas could offer a novel and sustainable source of plant-derived galanthamine. The findings have the potential to increase the economic sustainability of farming communities in less favoured areas by providing farmers with a high value crop while maintaining traditional farming systems
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event19th EGF Symposium 2017: Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios - Sardinia, Italy
Duration: 07 May 201710 May 2017


Conference19th EGF Symposium 2017
Period07 May 201710 May 2017


  • galanthamine
  • daffodils
  • grassland
  • upland area


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