Title: Thin-layer chromatographic (TLC) separations and bioassays of plant extracts to identify antimicrobial compounds
Authors: Kagan I, Flythe MD
Journal: J Vis Exp
Accepted date: 2013 Sep 11
Interpretive summary: Much research in medicine and agriculture is focused on discovering plant natural products that can kill or slow the growth of microorganisms, such as fungi and bacteria. Bioautography is a simple, relatively inexpensive method to screen for plant products with such antimicrobial properties. The method consists of separating extracts of plant material on a planar surface, leading to discrete spots or bands that can then be seen (possibly with the aid of chemical sprays) under visible light or ultraviolet (UV) light. If the separated compounds are then exposed to bacteria or fungi, the microbes will grow everywhere except on antimicrobial compounds. This paper describes some techniques for separating plant extracts and for determining if the extracts contain compounds antimicrobial to rumen bacteria that ferment amino acids.