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The Jewel of the Thai Seas: Marine Fungi Part 1 "Aigialus"

Aigialus parvus, S. Schatz & Kohlm. (1986)

The Greek word "Aigialus" means "coast," which is where the species was first discovered. In marine ecosystems, such as coastal and tidal mangrove forests, it is found on decomposed wood. The NBT sea mold research team led by Dr. Satinee Suetrong discovered this fungus on decaying wood in the ocean in 2006. It was identified as "Aigialus parvus, S. Schatz & Kohlm. (1986)" using morphological and molecular classification. (Pleosporales order and Ascomycota phylum)

A picture showing the research development of the marine fungus Aigialus parvus of NSTDA.

In addition to the discovery of beautiful fungi, this discovery has led to the isolation of pure cultures in the laboratory. The isolation medium for fungi must contain sea water and be compatible with the unique cell characteristics of marine fungi, which are not found in other fungal groups. This enables them to produce a variety of metabolites, which empower them to protect themselves from the environment and coexist with other microorganisms in the marine ecosystem.

Thus, it was found that Aigialus parvus is a subgroup of decaying fungi in coastal ecosystems and mangrove forests. Therefore, it has the ability to produce degrading enzymes such as protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, xylanase, and chitinase. (Raghukumar, 2008; Smitha et al., 2014). These enzymes break down lignin-cellulose-containing plant waste, called lignocellulose, and turn it into nutrients and energy that can be put back into the marine and coastal ecosystems. ecosystems

The marine fungus Aigialus parvus has been in the spotlight due to the efforts of BIOTEC's research team, which discovered the production of biologically active anti-malaria secondary metabolites Aigialomycin D, Aigialone, and Aigialospirol (Isaka et al., 2002; Vongvilai et al., 2004). Additionally, it was discovered that biological agents derived from this marine fungus inhibit the biofilm formation of pathogenic bacteria in aquatic animals, which is produced by the vibrio group. This will aid in lowering the mortality rate and decreasing antibiotic use in the aquaculture industry (Soowannayan, et al., 2019).


  1. Isaka, M., Yangchum, A., Intamas, S., Kocharin, K., Jones, E.B.G., Kongsaeree, P. and Prabpai, S. 2009. Aigialomycins and related polyketide metabolites from the mangrove fungus Aigialus parvus BCC 5311. Tetrahedron 65: 4396-4403.

  2. Isaka M, Suyarnsestakorn C, Tanticharoen M, Kongsaeree P, Thebtaranonth Y. Aigialomycins A-E, new resorcylic macrolides from the marine mangrove fungus Aigialus parvus. J Org Chem. 2002 Mar 8;67(5):1561-6. doi: 10.1021/jo010930g. PMID: 11871887.

  3. Kocharin, K. , Supothina, S. and Prathumpa, W. (2013) Hypothemycin production and its derivatives diversifying of Aigialus parvus BCC 5311 influenced by cultural condition. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 4, 1049-1056. doi: 10.4236/abb.2013.412140.

  4. Raghukumar, C. 2008. Marine fungal biotechnology: an ecological perspective. Fungal Diversity 31: 19-35.

  5. Soowannayan, C., Teja, D.N.C., Yatip, P., Mazumder, F.Y., Krataitong, K., Unagul, P., Suetrong, S., Preedanon, S., Klaysuban, A., Sakayaroj, J. and Sangtiean, T. 2019. Vibrio biofilm inhibitors screened from marine fungi protect shrimp against acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND). Aquaculture, 499: 1-8.

  6. Suetrong, Satinee, Preedanon, Sita, Klaysuban, Anupong, Gundool, Wunna, Unagul, Panida, Sakayaroj, Jariya, Promchu, Waratthaya and Sangtiean, Tanuwong. "Distribution and occurrence of manglicolous marine fungi from eastern and southern Thailand" Botanica Marina, vol. 60, no. 4, 2017, pp. 503-514.

  7. Vongvilai P, Isaka M, Kittakoop P, Srikitikulchai P, Kongsaeree P, Thebtaranonth Y. Ketene acetal and spiroacetal constituents of the marine fungus Aigialus parvus BCC 5311. J Nat Prod. 2004 Mar;67(3):457-60. doi: 10.1021/np030344d. PMID: 15043431.

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