Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Deyaneira M. Gonzalez Rodriguez - University of Puerto Rico at Humacao
Co-Author(s): Ileana Rodriguez Velez, University of Puerto Rico at Humacao
Antibiotic resistance has recently become a matter of public health concern due to the inability of classic antibiotics to keep up with constantly mutating bacteria. Therefore, the discovery and development of novel antibiotic agents able to work against currently resistant bacteria is of the utmost importance. A recent literature revision on the ethnobotany and natural products of the Kalanchoe family, has revealed the diverse biological activities reported for Kalanchoe pinnata. For instance, this succulent plant has been traditionally used for treatment of skin disorders and ear infections in Puerto Rico. However, few research has focused toward the other medicinal species of Kalanchoe plants. In our project, we are currently working with six different species of the Kalanchoe genus. We are very interested in determining the effect of these plants against commonly known bacterial pathogens, especially those present in skin wounds. With this in mind, we used a novel screening method to determine their general antibiotic profile. The Mobile Discovery Kit was used to test their activity against common bacteria found in human saliva. A small sample of the leaves were collected, cleaned and cut to perform the assay. After 24 hrs of inoculation, all six-species showed notable to strong antimicrobial activity. Positive and negative controls were included in the screening. Five out of six samples (83%) showed no bacterial growth. These results suggest the antibiotic profile of the tested plants, and their potential as source of antibiotics may be indeed great. Polar extracts (methanol and aqueous) from the six species were prepared. Their testing against bacteria typically found in skin wounds, are currently in progress and will be presented. As part of a long term goal, these extracts will be purified and characterized to identify the biologically active agents responsible for the described antibacterial effect. This will allow for a better understanding of the Kalanchoe family potential and future applications for the development of new antimicrobial agents.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): PR-LSAMP ; PR-IMBRE
Faculty Advisor: Ileana Rodriguez Velez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: During this investigation I was able to perform the preliminary testing of various plants and conclude the potential antibacterial activity of five out of six Kalanchoe plants. After this, I continued with the extractions of the plant?s components with different solvent systems. Now, I am currently testing them and evaluating their activity to later work on the purification and characterization of the active molecules.