Journal of Undergraduate Research


secondary metabolite production, endophytic microbes, Mahonia aquifolium


Life Sciences


Plant and Wildlife Sciences


Secondary metabolites are a result of natural evolutionary mechanism used to aid in plant development and defense, and the research of these metabolites have led to important discoveries in medicines, pesticides and even fossil fuels. In this project, we studied secondary metabolites of microorganisms in Mahonia aquifolium, otherwise known as Oregon grape. This plant is known to produce the chemical compound berberine as a secondary metabolite. Berberine has been shown to have similar effects to metformin and other diabetes treatments, as well as a host of other medicinal qualities. We looked at endophytic fungi and bacteria to see if they, too, produce berberine or similar organic compounds.