Application of a particle filtration method in the search for new bioactive natural products from fungi
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Fungi have been an important source for producing a wide range of secondary metabolites of widely differing chemical structures, as well as biological activities. Many of their metabolites now play a major role in pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. A number of fungi were isolated from soil and leaf litter collected from Arthur’s Pass, West Coast and Kaituna Valley using a particle filtration technique. Fungi were selected based on their unusual morphology or observed cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity for large scale culture and extraction. A pale yellow compound was isolated from cytotoxic extracts from the culture of Aspergillus versicolor. This compound was identified as sterigmatocystin and the identity confirmed by UV profile and mass spectrometry. Five compounds were isolated from extracts prepared from two different species of Penicillium of which three were active against P388 cells (mycophenolic acid, cycloaspeptide A and mevastatin), one was active against dermatophytes (griseofulvin) and one was not active (3,4,6,8-tetrahydroxy-3-methyl-3,4-dihydroisocoumarin). Two compounds were isolated from extracts prepared from two different species of Phoma. A dark red compound was found to be novel and showed activity against P388 cells and Bacillus subtilis. A second compound also showing cytotoxicity was identified as the known compound phomenone. A further new compound was isolated from extracts of an identified dematiaceous fungus. This alkyl glucoside, however, was not bioactive.