The starfish Asterias amurensis is one of the common species in Japanese coastal area. The species is considered an extremely rich source of biological active compounds, including saponin. Saponins are secondary metabolites and exhibit a wide spectrum of biological activities. The species of starfish caught in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture, Japan, was analyzed for species identification and micronutrient content. The starfish extract was evaluated for different biological properties and its fractions obtained using thin layer chromatography (TLC). Nucleotide sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene fragment of mitochondrial DNA indicated that partial sequences of PCR products of the species was identical with that of A. amurensis. The micronutrient contents results showed that nitrogen (N) content of the starfish was 1.50% of dry weight and the copper content was 2.10 µg/g. The crude extract of A. amurensis exhibited predominant growth inhibitory activity against six human fungal pathogens and also showed hemolytic activity against 2% sheep erythrocyte. The present findings suggest the possible pharmacological applications of A. amurensis that can be used as food ingredients and antifungal component.
Key words: Asterias amurensis, crude extract, biological property, saponin, antifungal component.
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