Ethnobotanical studies are based on the aquisition of
information from local population living in high biodiversity
areas about the medical use of plants. The aim of these
researches is to identify novel bioactive compounds of plant
origin. From plants selected for their practical use, in vitro
cultures are established with the aim of increase the biomass
able to produce secondary metabolites. The production of bioactive
compounds by in vitro cultures is then optimized through
elicitation with biotic or abiotic factors.
Another research line concerns the study of the response of plants to abiotic stresses and the role of plant extracts as biostimulants able to modulate these responses. Recent researches have been carried out on quinoa, a plant of the Andean regions and nowadays cultivated in different countries.