Acta Scientific Microbiology (ISSN: 2581-3226)

Research Article Volume 5 Issue 3

Determination of the Antimicrobial Activity of Selected Medicinal Plant Species in the Rubiaceae Family

Kanchana Ekanayake and Chamari M Hettiarachchi*

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

*Corresponding Author: Chamari M Hettiarachchi, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Received: December 31, 2021; Published: February 23, 2022


The discovery of novel antimicrobial agents has become one of the most important aspects of today's world. Sri Lanka has a diverse collection of medicinal plants that play an important therapeutic role for many decades. This study was designed to identify such indigenous plants from the Rubiaceae family and investigate their unknown antimicrobial activities. Based on their ayurvedic value and the scarcity of scientific research, five Rubiaceae plant species (Knoxia zeylanica, Ophiorrhiza mungos, Oldenlandia herbacea, Oldenlandia herbacea, Wendlandia bicuspidata, and Morinda umbellata) were selected. The antifungal activity of crude plant extracts was tested using the poison food technique against Aspergillus spp., Rhizopus spp., and Penicillium spp. fungal strains. Out of three fungal strains, Penicillium spp. showed the highest susceptibility to crude extracts; K. zeylanica (root), O. mungos (whole plant), and O. herbacea (stem and leaves). At a concentration of 2 mg/ml, the crude extract of O. mungos (whole plant) inhibited (98.56 %) the growth of Aspergillus spp., indicating the presence of strong antifungal compound/s in O. mungos species. The agar well diffusion method was used to conduct an antibacterial assay against two Gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25928), Bacillus cereus (ATCC 11778), and two Gram-negative bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 9027) and Escherichia coli (ATCC 35218). The crude extract (1mg per well) of K. zeylanica (root) demonstrated the highest antibacterial activity against B. cereus (16.2 ± 0.3 mm) and S. aureus (16.9 ± 0.3 mm). According to the findings of this study, K. zeylanica and O. mungos could be potential candidate plants for further research to isolate both anti-bacterial and antifungal compounds.

Keywords: Medicinal Plants; Rubiaceae; Anti-fungal; Anti-bacterial; Ayurvedic Medicine


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Citation: Kanchana Ekanayake and Chamari M Hettiarachchi. “Determination of the Antimicrobial Activity of Selected Medicinal Plant Species in the Rubiaceae Family". Acta Scientific Microbiology 5.3 (2022): 60-67.


Copyright: © 2022 Kanchana Ekanayake and Chamari M Hettiarachchi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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