Dacre R. T. Knight — Honors in Biology

Antimicrobial Activity of the Compound Honokiol from Magnolia
Natural products have been used to alleviate human illnesses for thousands of years. Such products originating from plants have had the majority of prescription. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has made profound use of this natural resource. Recently, one particular TCM drug, “honokiol,” from the magnolia family, was found to have significant anti-cancer properties. Current research, however, has left out the role of the compound in plant evolution. For this work, a purified honokiol sample and a crude extract of the compound were tested against various microbes. A disk-diffusion method was carried out to determine any inhibition of growth in the microbes. The results show a discriminatory inhibition of growth among bacterial species, and no inhibition of growth for selected fungal species. By looking at the characteristics of the inhibited bacteria, we can see a possible role of honokiol for the plant.