Diversity and bioactivity of fungi associated with the marine sea cucumber Holothuria poli: disclosing the strains potential for biomedical applications
Varese, Giovanna Cristina
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Marchese, Pietro, Garzolib, Laura, Gnavib, Giorgio, O’Connell, Enda, Bouraouid, Abderrahman, Mehirie, Mohamed, Murphy, Mary, Varese, Giovanna Cristina. (2020). Diversity and bioactivity of fungi associated with the marine sea cucumber Holothuria poli: disclosing the strains potential for biomedical applications. Journal of Applied Microbiology. doi:10.1111/jam.14659
Aims: Identification of the mycobiota associated to the marine echinoderm Holothuria poli and investigation of cytotoxic and pro-osteogenic potential of isolated strains. Methods and results: Fungal strains were isolated from the animal s body- wall, intestine and faeces. The species identification was based on DNA barcoding and morphophysiological observations. Forty-seven species were identified, all are Ascomycota and mainly belonging to Aspergillus and Penicillium genera. Sixteen strains were grown on three media for chemical extraction. Cytotoxic activity was tested on a hepatic cancer cell line (HepG2), the cells viability was evaluated after treatment using a resazurin based assay (AlamarBlue). Pro-osteogenic activity was tested on human Mesenchymal stem cell, differentiation was measured as the alkaline phosphatase production through reaction with p-nitrophenylphosphate or as the cells ability to mineralize calcium using a colorimetric kit (StanBio). Cytotoxic activity was recorded for four fungal species while five of 48 extracts highlighted bioactivity towards human mesenchymal stem cells. Conclusions: The presence of relevant animal-associated mycobiota was observed in H. poli and selected strains showed cytotoxic potential and pro- osteogenic activity. Significance and Impact of the Study: Our work represents the first report of a Mediterranean Sea cucumber mycobiota and highlights the isolates potential to synthetize compounds of pharmaceutical interest for regenerative medicine.