Antimicrobial Secondary Metabolites as Antifungal Agents

Khayalethu Ntushelo*, Vuyisile Samuel Thibane, Udoka Vitus Ogugua, Lesiba Klaas Ledwaba, Chimdi Mang Kalu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Plants, microbes and other organisms produce metabolites to initiate important biological functions. Among metabolites produced by an organism, primary metabolites are produced for growth, development and reproduction. Secondary metabolites are required for survival in the ecosystem. Some of the metabolites produced by either plants, bacteria or fungi have antifungal properties and therefore limit the growth and proliferation of encroaching fungi. Detection, quantification and validation of secondary metabolites are conducted by various analytical techniques most notably chromatography and mass spectrometry. Suitable analytical techniques possess qualities of the ability to be selective and have high-resolution power, high precision and accuracy, reliability, consistency, user-friendliness, ability to simultaneously detect a multitude of metabolites in a single run, cost-effectiveness, can be high-throughput, often able to be used remotely away from the laboratory and finally, can be ecofriendly. Antifungal secondary metabolites are studied through confrontational cultures, poison agar studies and multi-well plate cultures. The discovered and characterized secondary metabolites produced have been catalogued over the years. Despite the inroads and the massive generation of knowledge in this area of study a few challenges remain. These include ensuring a skilled laboratory workforce and robust analytical platforms accessible in many parts of the world. Measures for upscaling the production of useful secondary metabolites and ensuring commercialization of these secondary metabolites to benefit mankind need to be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiofungicides
Subtitle of host publicationEco-Safety and Future Trends: Volume 2: Novel Sources and Mechanisms
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781003828907
ISBN (Print)9781032590134
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


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