Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Miroslav Gantar

Abstract

Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that can be found in freshwater and marine environments as well as in soil. These organisms produce a variety of different biologically active compounds exhibiting anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-cancer properties among others. In this study, cyanobacterial isolates were screened for their ability to produce extracellular antibacterial products. Cyanobacteria were isolated from fresh water and soil samples collected in the Pembroke Pines, FL area. Twenty- seven strains of cyanobacteria were isolated belonging to the following genera: Limnothrix, Nostoc, Fischerella, Anabaena, Pseudoanabaena, Lyngbya, Leptolyngbya, Tychonema, and Calothrix. Individual strains were grown in liquid culture in laboratory conditions. Following 14-day cultivation, the culture liquid was filtered and tested for activity against the following bacteria: Escherichia coli, Bacillus megatarium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Micrococcus luteus. Among all genera of cyanobacterial strains tested, Fischerella exhibited the greatest inhibitory activity. An attempt was made to isolate the active compound from the culture liquid of the active strains. Lipophilic extracts from culture liquid were obtained from three selected Fischerella strains. The extracts proved to have varying levels of activity against the tested bacteria. Inhibitory activity from all three Fischerella strains was detected against B. megatarium and M luteus. The only strain that was active against S. aureus was Fischerella sp. 114-12 while none of the extracts showed activity against E. coli. This kind of screening has potential pharmaceutical and agricultural benefits, including possible discovery of novel antibiotics.

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