Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Funded Research Projects
Project Title: Exploration of novel antibiotics, antioxidants and anticancer compounds from micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, lichens) collected from extreme environments of mountainous regions of Nepal.
Project Introduction: Microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, lichen) are well known resources for various natural metabolites some of which are already dominant in pharmacological application such as penicillin. Several Streptomyces and Actinomyces species are reported to produce antibiotics, antifungal and anticancer metabolites. Similarly, lichens are potential sources of unique types of metabolites with various biological activities especially antioxidant, anticancer and antibiotics. The exploration of bioactive metabolites producing micro-organisms from mountainous regions of Nepal is yet to be done systematically. Due to extreme environment and scientifically untouched geographic region, a number of novel micro-organisms with potential biological activities are believed to be explored during this research project. Micro-organisms will be isolated from soil, water, plants and rocks samples. Antibiotic activities will be evaluated for each isolated micro-organisms against various pathogenic clinical micro-organisms. Micro-organisms identification will be carried out by analyzing 16S rDNA sequence analysis. In addition, we will establish a cryopreservation based culture collection of such bioactive metabolites producing micro-organisms so that other scientists can perform further research works in future. Biologically active natural compounds will be isolated and characterized from each biological activity showing micro-organisms. Various chromatography techniques such as thin layer chromatography (TLC), mild pressure liquid chromatography (MPLC), column chromatography, and High pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) will be applied as per suitability and necessity to purify natural compounds from the crude extracts. The purified compounds will be structurally identified by analyzing spectroscopic data obtained from UV, IR, 1D and 2D NMR experiments. The quantitative analysis of biological activities (antibiotic, antioxidant, anticancer, antifungal, and anti-diabetic) of identified natural compounds will be conducted and compared with commercial standards by using standard protocols.