HAN Biocentre
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It’s a common problem: mould in the bathroom or a rotten tomato. Problems with antibiotic resistant bacteria are a regular topic in the news. In this project, the HAN BioCentre searches for new biological compounds that can inhibit the growth of fungi or other microorganisms.

'High-throughput' screening

To discover which substance has antifungal effect, the HAN BioCentre uses two 'high-throughput screening methods':

  • Plate assay based on classical methods
  • The fungal-specific DE LUX reporter assay

In-house technology

The BioCentre has various human pathogenic and plant pathogenic species of fungi at its disposal. These can be used to test the antifungal activity of (natural) sources of bacteria and plant extracts.
The BioCentre also has in-house expertise and technologies needed for the identification of new active substances which show an antifungal effect in extracts. This includes techniques such as LC-MS.
This equipment is also available to third parties. Would you like to know more?
Read more about the facilities at the HAN BioCentre on Facility Sharing.

Applicable knowledge gathering

Ultimately, a library will be created of sources and substances with (potential) antifungal activity. The substances with antifungal properties can be applied in the sectors:

  • Agro; to prevent seeds becoming mouldy.
  • Health; to cure tinea.
  • Food; to protect fruits and vegetables from mould.
  • Consumer; to protect paper.

Optimal compost for mushrooms?

Currently, our expertise and technology is applied in a subsidised project in the mushroom industry. In this project, the HAN BioCentre is creating a profile of the microorganisms present in the compost growth substrate.

There are a number of weed fungi that inhibit the growth of the mushrooms. To date, there have been a number of strains isolated that are able to inhibit these weed fungi. This project is a collaboration between the compost producer CNC, the Product Board for Horticulture, various businesses and Wageningen University, Leiden University, Berlin University and the Hogeschool Utrecht.

Looking for anti-fungal substances or a screening method?

Our Director or Staff will be happy to help.
Please contact the HAN BioCentre >>

The LUX reporter assay

The principle of the LUX reporter assay is based on the increase of cellular luminescence by the induction of the enzyme luciferase at the moment the 'cell wall integrity’ pathway in fungi is activated. Activation of this route is indicative of an environment that has a negative impact on the growth or vitality of fungi.

The presence of a substance with anti-fungal effect in this assay will thus lead to the production of luciferase and hence to strongly increased luminescence. The reporter assay is specific for each strain and is currently available for Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma aggressivum at the HAN BioCentre.

The LUX assay can also be set up for other fungal strains.