Amentoflavone, a novel cyanobacterial killing agent from Selaginella tamariscina

Jaebok Lee, Minkyung Kim, Sang Eun Jeong, Hye Yoon Park, Che Ok Jeon, Woojun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Harmful cyanobacterial bloom (HCB) by Microcystis aeruginosa is increasingly becoming a serious concern to the environment and human health alike. Currently, many physical, chemical, and biological controls are underway to eliminate HCB, but natural chemicals are rarely used. To find a control agent with low environmental toxicity and high potential for practical use, 60 plant extracts were screened. Only Selaginella tamariscina extract killed all four Microcystis aeruginosa strains, but not the other tested bacteria. Chloroform fraction of S. tamariscina extract (CSE) showed the highest killing activity. The effects of CSE on M. aeruginosa were monitored using differential interference contrast microscopy and flow-cytometry analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The images showed that CSE-treated cells were abnormally altered, with damaged cell membranes, peptidoglycan layers, and cytoplasm. Quadrupole time-of-flight liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry was used to identify amentoflavone as a major active compound. Pure amentoflavone, even at low concentrations showed a powerful killing effect on M. aeruginosa, but not on other non-cyanobacteria. Overall, in this study, we have highlighted the potentials of S. tamariscina extracts and amentoflavone as selective HCB control agents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121312
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 15


  • Algal bloom
  • Algicide
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Microcystis aeruginosa
  • Natural extract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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