Investigation of antimicrobial, anticancer and antioxidant secondary novel metabolites from lichens and their endophytes from high altitude regions of Nepal.
Funding agency: International
Foundation of Science (IFS)
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.