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Title: Antimicrobials : novel insights for plant health and biomedical applications
Author: Nelson, David W. V. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 4093
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2017
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The publications on which this thesis is based offer novel insights for plant health and biomedical applications, based on discoveries sourced from the native botanical and fungal floras of Northern Ireland, together with the microbial populations of local soils. What began as a search for antimicrobials from species of plants traditionally believed to have curative powers, progressed to the collection of native fungi. In a novel approach, proteins were extracted from these and assayed against clinically important bacteria and fungi. The results showed for the first time, that a number of indigenous fungal species, including Ganoderma resinaceum and Mycena pura, possessed protein(s) with wide-ranging antimicrobial potential. The collection and assay of additional local fungi can only build on this significant foundation. Moving into environmental microbiology and plant health, inhibitory native fungi and bacteria were isolated from soils associated with recently introduced exotic species of Phytophthora, emerging phytopathogens of local and global significance to the forestry and amenity horticulture sectors (P. ramorum, so-called 'Sudden Oak Death'). The native fungus Clitocybe nebularis and two species of Bacillus (Bacillus licheniformis and B. pumilis) were part of the first report of native species as potential biocontrol agents. This work was extended to a cause of economic losses to local cut flower growers, arising from soil infestation with Fusarium oxysporum. Three bacterial species isolated from soil infested with this Fusarium, namely Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, B.subtilis and Paenibacillus polymyxa proved effective inhibitors, and is the first time that this significant genus of phytopathogen and potential control agents have been reported as co-existing in local soils. Following the discoveries highlighted by this series of investigations, ongoing research has been directed towards developing microbiocides as alternatives to traditional chemical-based controls, using these locally-sourced bacteria.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available