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Ingman, Caroline (2009) Myrosinase activity in microorganisms and its possible health benefits for humans & potential antibacterial effect of marine biological waste products. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

Cancer is an illness that affects countless persons, either they themselves are afflicted or someone in their vicinity is. Research has shown that when glucosinolates – secondary metabolites in plants from the Brassicaceae family – are degraded in the stomach of animals via the enzyme (myrosinase), their metabolites can counteract the formation of tumour cells. However, the natural degradation in the stomach might not be sufficient, so it has been proposed that intake of microbes with myrosinase activity might be beneficial for the degradation of glucosinolates. This study was therefore conducted to search for microbes with myrosinase activity that might be safely digested. Chosen bacteria were first screened for glucosinolate breakdown based on a barium sulfate test which was inconclusive due to difficulties to discern the precipitate. Three bacterial strains were thought to be indicative of precipitation and were incubated with either sinigrin or mustard extract. Glucose was measured as an indicator for how much glucosinolate had been degraded during the incubation. Due to inconsistency between the results it was not possible to deduce whether glucosinolates were degraded or if the bacteria themselves produced glucose via an alternative pathway. Two strains of fungi were also tested for glucosinolate degradation using the barium sulfate screen containing sinigrin or vegetative extracts. L. maculans grew only on medium containing sinigrin while Botrytis grew indiscriminately on all media including the negative control. Due to the difficulties in attaining accurate results it would be wise to try to achieve more exact measuring methods for myrosinase activity should this research venue be continued. Resistance to antibiotics is a growing problem today that may cause havoc in the treatment of bacteria in the future. To solve this problem researchers have started looking towards marine organisms for antibacterial substances. The reason for the specific interest in marine organisms is that they represent a large biodiversity and have evolved separately from terrestrial animals for billions of years and should thus have novel molecules that could be used on new targets on bacteria. In this paper two samples from marine food processing were tested against several common microbes to see if they had any inhibitory effect. The samples were either filtrated or heat inactivated before screening against bacteria using an agar diffusion assay along with positive controls and untreated samples. The samples demonstrated an inhibitory effect against most of the chosen bacteria but it was thought to be of biological nature rather than chemical since the inhibition was only discerned when untreated samples were used on the bacteria plates. Two fungal strains were also tested but no inhibition was found when screened with the samples whether they were filtrated or not. The marine samples should be further tested since some inhibitory action against the bacteria could be found, but first it should be determined whether it is because of a new molecule or an already known structure.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Myrosinase, glucosinolates, cancer, glucosinolate degradation, antibiotic resistance, marine, new antibiotic targets
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Caroline Ingman
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2009
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:13
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/3206

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