Antifungal activity of some New Zealand fungal isolates
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The secondary metabolism of organisms, especially mycelial fungi, is attracting increasing attention since it may produce a reservoir of unique molecules from which therapeutic agents are formed or derived for clinical application The production of secondary metabolites is not well understood and involves a broad spectrum of metabolic processes that often have little in common. This study screened a number of New Zealand isolates, mostly of the Arthrinium genus, and assessed their antifungal activity. The primary screening used for this study consisted of agar diffusion tests with a range of filamentous fungi and yeast. Secondary screening was also started, with active cultures being chemically extracted. It was found that New Zealand isolates of Arthrinium phaeospermum display antifungal activity against yeasts and filamentous fungi, as well as bacteria. The teleomorphic state of an Arthrinium sp., Apiospora montagnei, was found to have activity against the yeast S. cerevisiae. In addition, activity against two filamentous fungi by Apiospora montagnei was demonstrated. In the course of this study, a contaminant fungus displaying antifungal activity was isolated and screened. It was found to have antifungal activity against C. albicans and filamentous fungi, as well as bacteria.