Title

Assessment of Biological Activity for Crude Extracts and Isolated Compounds from Plants

Presenter Information

Jane Diamond

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Identification of new compounds extracted from plant species that have never before been researched has potential for finding new and better drugs to treat illness. By examining the effects of crude plant extracts on Staphylococcus aureus, a fast-growing, ubiquitous, gram-positive bacterium, biologically active extracts can be identified. Further separation of these by column chromatography may yield pure compounds with antibacterial activity. Most plant species produce at least moderately active antimicrobial compounds as part of their specific and non-specific defense systems. It is possible that some of these defenses hold the keys to treating or curing human diseases caused by bacteria. It is of interest to determine if crude plant extracts and pure compounds have antimicrobial activity or, alternatively, can potentiate the activity of known antibiotics. To explore this, a disk-diffusion based research method is employed to facilitate comparison between effects of the test materials on the growth of S. aureus. Small changes can be made for this method to work with other species based on normal growth rate of the organism used, and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the antibiotic drugs needed for each organism used in different assays. The research model involves swabbing ‘lawns’ of bacteria on plates of tryptic soy agar (TSA), and adding sterile disks infused with varying concentrations of known antibiotics, crude extracts, or isolated pure compounds. Zones of inhibition around the disks can then be measured and compared. This model can be used with a variety of organisms, depending on the interests of the researcher.

Poster Number

5

Faculty Mentor(s)

Eric Foss, Gil Belofsky

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

Additional Mentoring Department

Chemistry

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May 17th, 8:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

Assessment of Biological Activity for Crude Extracts and Isolated Compounds from Plants

SURC Ballroom A

Identification of new compounds extracted from plant species that have never before been researched has potential for finding new and better drugs to treat illness. By examining the effects of crude plant extracts on Staphylococcus aureus, a fast-growing, ubiquitous, gram-positive bacterium, biologically active extracts can be identified. Further separation of these by column chromatography may yield pure compounds with antibacterial activity. Most plant species produce at least moderately active antimicrobial compounds as part of their specific and non-specific defense systems. It is possible that some of these defenses hold the keys to treating or curing human diseases caused by bacteria. It is of interest to determine if crude plant extracts and pure compounds have antimicrobial activity or, alternatively, can potentiate the activity of known antibiotics. To explore this, a disk-diffusion based research method is employed to facilitate comparison between effects of the test materials on the growth of S. aureus. Small changes can be made for this method to work with other species based on normal growth rate of the organism used, and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the antibiotic drugs needed for each organism used in different assays. The research model involves swabbing ‘lawns’ of bacteria on plates of tryptic soy agar (TSA), and adding sterile disks infused with varying concentrations of known antibiotics, crude extracts, or isolated pure compounds. Zones of inhibition around the disks can then be measured and compared. This model can be used with a variety of organisms, depending on the interests of the researcher.