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Vol. 4 (1), 2015, Pages: 310-317

Cyanobacterial natural products as antimicrobial agents

V.D. Pandey

Department of Botany, Government Post-Graduate College Rishikesh-249201(Uttarakhand), India.


Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) constitute a morphologically diverse and widely distributed group of Gram-negative photosynthetic prokaryotes. Possessing tremendous adaptability to varying environmental conditions, effective protective mechanisms against various abiotic stresses and metabolic versatility, they colonize and grow in different types of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. In addition to the potential applications of cyanobacteria in various fields, such as agriculture, aquaculture, pollution control, bioenergy and nutraceuticals, they produce chemically diverse and pharmacologically important novel bioactive compounds, including antimicrobial compounds (antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral). The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic microbes against commonly used antibiotics necessitated the search for new antimicrobial agents from sources other than the traditional microbial sources (streptomycetes and fungi). Various features of cyanobacteria, including their capability of producing antimicrobial compounds, make them suitable candidates for their exploitation as a natural source of antimicrobial agents.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, Natural products, Bioactive compounds, Pharmaceutical compounds, Antimicrobial .

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