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Research article

Article

Research article

J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2010; 20(8): 1204-1209

Published online August 28, 2010 https://doi.org/10.4014/jmb.1004.04037

Copyright © The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Antimicrobial Activities of 1,4-Benzoquinones and Wheat Germ Extract

Myung-Hee Kim 1, Sung-Hoon Jo 1, Kyung-Soo Ha 1, Ji-Hye Song 1, Hae-Dong Jang 1 and Young-In Kwon 1*

1Department of Food and Nutrition, Hannam University, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea

Received: April 27, 2010; Accepted: May 2, 2010

Abstract

We evaluated the antibacterial activities of selected edible
Korean plant seeds against the food-borne pathogens
Staphylococcus aureus KCTC1927, Escherichia coli
KCTC2593, Salmonella typhimurium KCTC2054, and Bacillus
cereus KCTC1014. While screening for antibacterial
agents, we discovered that wheat germ extract contains
2,6-dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone (DMBQ) and is highly
inhibitory to S. aureus and B. cereus. This is the first
report of the antibacterial activity of wheat germ extract.
We also investigated the antibacterial activities of the 1,4-
benzoquinone standards 1,4-benzoquinone (BQ), hydroquinone
(HQ), methoxybenzoquinone (MBQ), and 2,6-dimethoxy-
1,4-benzoquinone (DMBQ). DMBQ and BQ were the
most highly inhibitory to S. aureus and S. typhimurium,
followed by MBQ and HQ. MICs for DMBQ and BQ
ranged between 8 and 64 μg/ml against the four foodborne
pathogens tested. DMBQ and BQ showed significant
antibacterial activity; the most sensitive organism was
S. aureus with an MIC of 8 μg/ml. BQ exhibited good
activity against S. typhimurium (32 μg/ml) and B. cereus
(32 μg/ml). The results suggest that wheat germ extract
has potential for the development of natural antimicrobials
and food preservatives for controlling foodborne pathogens.

Keywords: antibacterials, benzoquinone, food-borne pathogens, MIC, wheat germ