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Antimicrobial activities of extracts from Indo-Pacific marine plants against marine pathogens and saprophytes
Puglisi, M.P.; Engel, S.; Jensen, P.R.; Fenical, W. (2007). Antimicrobial activities of extracts from Indo-Pacific marine plants against marine pathogens and saprophytes. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 150(3): 531-540.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Puglisi, M.P.
  • Engel, S.
  • Jensen, P.R.
  • Fenical, W.

    This study is the second of two surveys designed to systematically screen extracts from marine plants for antimicrobial effects against ecologically relevant marine microorganisms, and to compare results on a geographical basis. In the preceding survey, extracts from tropical Atlantic marine algae and seagrasses were screened in growth inhibition assays against the pathogenic fungus Lindra thalassiae, the saprophytic fungus Dendryphiella salina, the saprophytic stramenopiles, Halophytophthora spinosa and Schizochytrium aggregatum, and the pathogenic bacterium Pseudoaltermonas bacteriolytica. In this study, the same assay microorganisms were used to examine the antimicrobial effects of lipophilic and hydrophilic extracts from 54 species of marine algae and two species of seagrasses collected from Indo-Pacific reef habitats. Overall, 95% of all species surveyed in this study yielded extracts that were active against one or more, and 77% yielded extracts that were active against two or more assay microorganisms. Broad-spectrum activity against three or four assay microbes was observed in the extracts from 50 to 21% of all species, respectively. Extracts from the green alga Bryopsis pennata and the red alga Portieria hornemannii inhibited the growth of all assay microorganisms. Given that antimicrobial activity was prevalent among extracts of Indo-Pacific marine plants, it is interesting to note that the inhibitory effects of each extract varied considerably between the assay microorganisms. Overall, H. spinosa and D. salina were the most susceptible while L. thalassiae, S. aggregatum, and P. bacteriolytica were the most resistant to the extracts tested. These results provide good evidence that antimicrobial chemical defenses are widespread among Indo-Pacific marine plants. Further, the activity profiles of plant extracts suggest that antimicrobial secondary metabolites can have pathogen-selective or broad-spectrum effects. To confirm these results, chemical studies will be needed to isolate and characterize the compounds responsible for the observed antimicrobial activities.

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