• antimycobacterial activity;
  • endophytes;
  • Scottish plants;
  • lichens;
  • Mycobacterium aurum;
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis


With tuberculosis the leading bacterial killer worldwide and other mycobacterial diseases on the increase, the search for new antimycobacterial agents is timely. In this study, extracts from plants, lichens and fungal endophytes of Scottish provenance were screened for activity against Mycobacterium aurum and M. tuberculosis H37Rv. The best activity against M. aurum was observed for extracts of Juniperus communis roots and Cladonia arbuscula (MIC = 4 µg/mL), and a fungal endophyte isolated from Vaccinium myrtillus (MIC = 8 µg/mL). The best activity against M. tuberculosis was observed for extracts of C. arbuscula, Empetrum nigrum, J. communis roots, Calluna vulgaris aerial parts, Myrica gale roots and stems (93 to 99% inhibition at 100 µg/mL). Potent antitubercular activity (90 to 96% inhibition at 100 µg/mL) was also observed for the ethanol extracts of Xerocomus badius, Chalciporus piperatus, Suillus luteus and of endophytes isolated from C. vulgaris, E. nigrum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea and V. myrtillus. The results obtained this study provide, in part, some scientific basis for the traditional use of some of the selected plants in the treatment of tuberculosis. They also indicate that fungal endophytes recovered from Scottish plants are a source of antimycobacterial agents worthy of further investigation. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.