Antibiotic Properties in Fungi and Lichens
Prince of Wales Secondary
Floor Location : M 131 D
An assortment of fungi and lichens were collected from around Vancouver and tested for antibiotic properties. The antibiotic properties were extracted by breaking down the fungi and lichens, adding 80% ethanol, and mixing the mixture. The solids and liquids were then separated, and the ethanol was evaporated. These crude extracts were tested on five types of bacteria: Escherichia coli, Streptococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis, Enterobaeter aerogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis. Eight out of the eighteen crude extracts created zones of inhibition on at least one of the bacteria. A zone of inhibition is the area around the antibiotic that is free of bacteria. The two lichens, Cladonia macilenta and Plasmatia glauca, had the largest and most zones of inhibition out of the fungi and lichens. All three trials done reported similar results. I would like to further explore antibiotic properties in lichens and whether it correlates to the lichen's acidity level by testing the lichen's pH level before extracting the crude antibiotic extracts. These results are important because they are potential new sources of antibiotics which could help fight antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is spreading because doctors are over prescribing antibiotics and patients are over using them. Many bacterial infections are now becoming deadly once again with no means to kill the bacteria. This could change modern medicine as we know it unless we find new ways to combat the bacteria. It is promising to the fight against antibiotics if so many of the fungi and lichens one sees everyday contain antibiotic properties.