Since the beginning of mankind, plants have been used as the source of medicinal agents thereby becoming a major course to discovering new drugs. The practice of using traditional medicine is prevalent in Pakistan that has a rich history of herbal plants being used by Hakims in folk medicine (Unani medicine). The Asteraceae family is the largest plant family in Pakistan, with plants of considerable medicinal importance. Endophytes include all organisms that symptomless colonize the living internal tissues of their hosts during a variable period of their lifetime. There they produce a broad variety of bioactive secondary metabolites with unique structure that are advantageous for the plant. Endophytic actinomycetes also colonize the internal tissues of plants without causing any visible changes or damage. They exploit an unusual habitat and considering this, this may enable them to possess the potential to produce bioactive compounds as similar to their host plant. Our study explores the bioprospecting potential related to endophytic actinomycetes of Asteraceae medicinal plants of Pakistan. After isolation and identification the endophytes were screened for their bioactive metabolites potential for new drug targets. This included extensive biological and chemical screening. The bioactive compounds were purified by column chromatography and final identification was done through HPLC-MS and NMR. The purified compounds were observed to be extremely potent with promising antimicrobial potential against major pathogens including algae and fungal strains as well as posessing antioxidant and cytotoxic potential.
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Bioprospecting of Asteraceae Medicinal Plants of Pakistan for their Associated Bioactive Endophytic Actinomycetes for New Drug Targets
Published: 01 November 2016 by MDPI in 2nd International Electronic Conference on Medicinal Chemistry session ECMC-2
Keywords: Actinomycetes; Asteraceae; Endophytes; Medicinal plants; Pakistan