Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Antimicrobial Properties of Roots, Stems, and Leaves of Homalosorus pycnocarpos, Polystichum acrostichoides, and Sceptridium dissectum

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Biology, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Darlene Panvini

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


Many plants used as traditional medicines have been found to have antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Ferns are among the plants used by Native American peoples for treatment of respiratory, dental, anti-inflammatory, and other illnesses. However, despite their wide use, research about antimicrobial properties of ferns is limited. To test for antibacterial properties, both dried and fresh material from the stems, leaves, and roots of Homalosorus pycnocarpos (glade fern), Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern), and Sceptridium dissectum (Cut-leaf grape fern) were homogenized in ethanol. The disk diffusion method was used to test the antibiotic properties of the plant extracts on four ESKAPE pathogens. We expect to find antibiotic properties in these fern species, thus explaining their effectiveness in traditional medicinal use. This project aims to fill the gaps in research about antimicrobial properties of these fern species and identify which plant parts are potentially most effective in treating microbial infections.

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