Ross Friedman, Cynthia , More, Fawna N. .
Effect of male dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium americanum) infection on the potential antimicrobial properties of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia.
Arceuthobium americanum (dwarf mistletoe) is a hemi-parasitic flowering plant that infects lodgepole pine in western North America. This small pest is generally regarded as a big problem in British Columbia (BC) forests, because it reduces the yield of timber and compromises forest productivity. However, our lab recently discovered that a methanolic extract from dwarf mistletoe possesses antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Furthermore, while little research has explored the antimicrobial properties of lodgepole pines, others have shown that extracts obtained from conifer bark and needles from various Old World Pinaceae have antimicrobial properties, and have been used in Austria for centuries to treat various ailments. Here, we hypothesized that the lodgepole pine needle extracts would have antimicrobial properties, and that needles from dwarf mistletoe infected pines would have enhanced antibiotic activity. We used needle extracts from both infected and uninfected lodgepole pines to challenge medically-relevant Gram-positive (S. aureus, MRSA and Bacillus species) and Gram-negative (E. coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae) bacteria via pour plate bioassays; antimicrobial activity of various extracts was determined by measuring the zones of inhibition on different plates. Preliminary evidence suggests that conifer needles from mistletoe-infected pines do not display enhanced antimicrobial activity when infected with dwarf mistletoe, as opposed to either extract alone. With the overuse and improper use of antibiotics to treat common disease, new strains of bacteria are created. New natural antibiotics or antimicrobial agents must be made to prevent an epidemic of antibiotic resistant bacteria. We propose that extracts from conifers infected with dwarf mistletoe could be further developed as a natural “plantibiotic.”
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1 - Thompson Rivers University, Department of Biological Sciences, Box 3010, 900 McGill Road, Kamloops, BC, V2C 5N3, Canada
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 8:30 AM