IFS Funded Research Projects
Project Title: Investigation of antimicrobial, anticancer and antioxidant secondary novel metabolites from lichens and their endophytes from high altitude regions of Nepal.
Project Introduction: Lichens are reported to be produced various biological active compounds. Lichens from extreme environments such as high altitude, high UV, drought and cold are believed to be synthesized unique types of secondary metabolites than the other one. Similarly, endophytic fungi or bacteria isolated from lichens from extreme environment are also believed to be produced unique and novel secondary metabolites in term of molecular structures and biological activities. Several human pathogenic bacteria and fungi have been deveoped into drug resistant strains. Various synthetic antioxidant compounds have posed carcinogenic effects. This phenomenon needs the further search for new effective drugs.
The project aimed to investigate lichens and their endophytic fungi/bacteria from high altitude mountains of Nepal where such kind of research is yet to be carried out. During this research project, various lichens species from Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) will be collected and endophytic fungi / bacteria will be isolated. All the organisms will be extracted with methanol and the extract will be screened for various biological activities such as antibacterial (against human pathogenic bacteria), antifungal (against pathogenic fungi), antioxidant and anticancer. Biological activity guided fractionation of the active extract will be carried out by using various chromatographic techniques such as column chromatography (silica gel), size exclusion chromatography (sephadex LH-20), thin layer chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The purified active compounds will be identified by spectroscopic analysis such as ultraviolet, neuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. The obtained results will pave the way to conduct the further research of developing pharmaceutical or cosmetic drugs of natural origin to replace the existing synthetic compounds for better and safer applications.