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The majority of the marine algal species, though completing their life cycle in seawater, are rarely susceptible to fouling, making them an important source of quorum sensing (QS) inhibitory substances. The separation and characterization of QS inhibitors are crucial for any potential application. Thirty marine macroalgae were tested for QS inhibition activity by using Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 as the reporter strain, and among them, Asparagopsis taxiformis showed antibacterial, as well as antiquorum, sensing activities. Cinnamaldehyde (75 mM) and methanol were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. The antiquorum sensing activity of A. taxiformis was further confirmed using the sensor strain, Serratia liquefaciens MG44, having green fluorescent protein (gfp). Methanolic extract of the alga was fractionated by solid phase extraction (SPE), and each fraction was tested for QS inhibition. Two types of activities were observed-zone of clearance (antibacterial activity) and zone of inhibition with or without finger-like projections (QS inhibition). Out of five SPE cartridges, Bond Elut PH showed clear separation of these two fractions. The Ion Cyclotron Resonance Fourier Transformation Mass Spectrometer (ICR-FT/MS) analysis of the fractions further supported the bioassay results. The presence of strong QS inhibitory compound in A. taxiformis indicates its potential use in antifouling preparations.


Bhavanath Jha, Kumari Kavita, Jenny Westphal, Anton Hartmann, Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin. Quorum sensing inhibition by Asparagopsis taxiformis, a marine macro alga: separation of the compound that interrupts bacterial communication. Marine drugs. 2013 Jan 23;11(1):253-65

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PMID: 23344114

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