Isolation, Screening, and Molecular Analysis of Australian Freshwater Fungi for Antimicrobial Compounds.

Author: Aastha Savaliya

Savaliya, Aastha, 2024 Isolation, Screening, and Molecular Analysis of Australian Freshwater Fungi for Antimicrobial Compounds., Flinders University, College of Medicine and Public Health

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Antibiotic resistance is a major global concern that has developed from overuse and misuse of antibiotics. This has resulted in significantly enhanced antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Pathogenic bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics, causing a decline in the effectiveness of these medicines. As a result, new antibiotics must be discovered to combat AMR. Among various potential sources, freshwater fungi are regarded as one of the prospective sources for novel antimicrobial compounds. Freshwater fungi possess the capacity to generate a wide spectrum of secondary metabolites, several of which demonstrate potential pharmacological and industrial significance. Therefore, this study aims to discover novel antimicrobial compounds sourced from Australian freshwater fungi.

In this study, ten wood samples were collected from the Bridgwater River of Australia, and from that 56 fungi were isolated and forty-five were selected for the investigations including seven strains previously collected from the Flinders Ranges of Australia. Initially, the samples were examined on agar to assess the antimicrobial activity against bacteria as primary screening, and similarly on the solid-state selected as basmati rice for secondary screening. Furthermore, from five strains including, S64, S83, S93, S106, and FRW28A that showed significant antimicrobial activity, a scale-up process was conducted, followed by genomic extraction to isolate DNA from these cultures. This extracted DNA served as the template for subsequent PCR experiments to provide the template for PCR examination. The crude extract of compound S93 was analysed using Thin-layer chromatography on a silica gel plate. For future research, purification of antimicrobial compounds by column chromatography and structure elucidation can be performed.

Keywords: Fungi, Freshwater fungi, Antibiotics, Antimicrobial resistance, Antimicrobial compounds

Subject: Medical Biotechnology thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2024
School: College of Medicine and Public Health
Supervisor: Emeritus Professor Chris Franco