Antibacterial activity in wild fungi collected in Jefferson County, West Virginia


  • David T Hayes Shepherd University
  • Laura S Robertson Shepherd University



Mycology, Fungi, Antibacterial activity


Widespread antibiotic resistance is a public health crisis of global concern. Identification and development of new antibiotics is time-consuming and expensive, and few new antibiotics have been developed in recent years. While the first antibiotic, penicillin, was isolated from fungi, fungi in general are understudied. We are identifying wild-collected fungi, characterizing growth of these fungi, and investigating potential antibacterial activity.  Filamentous fungi were isolated from the surface of wild-collected fruiting bodies of Auricularia fuscosuccinea (Jelly Ear), Polyporus squamosus (Dryad’s Saddle), and Loweomyces fractipes. Three isolates were identified to species by DNA barcode: two strains of Mucor nidicola and one strain of Geotrichum klebahnii.  Growth of these three strains was assessed on four different culture media: Cherry Sawdust Agar, Dog Food Agar, Malt-Yeast Extract-Peptone Agar, and Potato Dextrose Yeast Agar. The three strains did not grow well on cherry sawdust agar, but grew well on the other three media. The ability to inhibit growth of the bacteria Escherichia coli K-12, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Bacillus cereus was assessed for G. klebahnii, the two isolates of M. nidicola, and for six other fungal strains that we isolated previously: Aspergillus niger, Penicillium herquei, Epiccocum nigrum, and three separate isolates of Trichoderma atroviride.  Several of the tested strains inhibited growth of the Gram-positive B. cereus.

Author Biographies

David T Hayes, Shepherd University

Biology Department


Laura S Robertson, Shepherd University

Biology Department

Associate Professor




How to Cite

Hayes, D. T., & Robertson, L. S. (2021). Antibacterial activity in wild fungi collected in Jefferson County, West Virginia. Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science, 93(1).