Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Microbiology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Methodology article

A novel method for screening beta-glucosidase inhibitors

Sony Pandey*, Ayinampudi Sree, Soumya S Dash and Dipti P Sethi

Author Affiliations

Environment and Sustainability Department, CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar 751013, India

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:55  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-55

Published: 8 March 2013



Few beta-glucosidase inhibitors have so far been reported from microorganisms due to the practical difficulties in performing the inhibition tests and subsequent interpretation of results. In an effort to investigate marine microbial extracts for β-glucosidase inhibitors, we developed a new protocol, using esculin as substrate in an agar plate based assay, to screen a large number of microbial extracts in a short span of time.


With the new method, pale yellowish zones against the blackish brown background could be visually observed with more clarity in sample extracts where β-glucosidase inhibitor was present. The new method was compared with the closest existing method and established beyond doubt. This agar plate based procedure required about one hour for minimum 12 samples and the throughput increases with the size of the agar gel plate used.


The new protocol was simple, rapid and effective in detecting beta-glucosidase inhibitors in microbial extracts.

Glucosidase inhibitor; Esculin; Conduritol β-epoxide; Microbial extracts; marine microorganisms; anti-diabetics; anti-obesity; anti-HIV