Antimicrobial activity of plant phenols from Chlorophora excelsa and Virgilia oroboides

  • Thiriloshani Padayachee
  • Bharti Odhav


The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity of four aqueous plant extracts (1 x 104 μg/ml) of 2,3'4,5'-tetra hydroxy-4'-geranylstilbene (chlorophorin) and 3',4, 5' - trihydroxy - 4' - geranylstilbene (Iroko) from the tree Chlorophora excelsa and (6aR,11aR)-3-hydroxy-8,9-methylenedioxypterocarpan (Maackiain) and 7-hydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavone (formononetin) from Virgilia oroboides were evaluated by the seeded agar overlay well diffusion method. The test organisms and bioautography used included: Bacillus coagulans, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Mycobacteria tuberculosis, Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium verticilloides. Vancomycin, the drug of choice for these organisms was used as the control at 30 μg/ml. The extracts showed that chlorophorin at 1.95 μg/ml and Iroko at 3.125 and 6.25 μg/ml respectively were active in inhibiting the growth of S. pneumoniae and B. coagulans and not active against K. pneumoniae and E. coli. Maackiain; formononetin and formononetin acetate showed little activity against S. pneumonia, B. coagulans, K. pneumoniae and E. coli. None of the extracts showed activity against M. tuberculosis. Maackiain, formononetin, chlorophorin and Iroko inhibited F. vertiicilloides, maackiain being the most active compound. Formononetin, chlorophorin and Iroko inhibited A. flavus. A. flavus was most sensitive to chlorophorin and Iroko. The bioautography method confirmed these results and was attributed to the phenolic nature of the compounds.

Keywords: Plant compounds, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, chlorophorin, Iroko

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(17), pp. 2254-2261

Author Biographies

Thiriloshani Padayachee
Department of Biosciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark South Africa
Bharti Odhav
Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Durban University of Technology, South Africa.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5315