Microbial population associated with Agarwood and Agarwood oil

Doaa Sami Jaha, Tennessee State University


Agarwood is a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops, trees (large evergreens native to Southeast Asia) when they become infected with a type of fungi. Before infection, the heartwood is relatively light and pale colored, however as the infection progresses, the tree produces a dark aromatic resin in response to the attack, which results in a very dense, dark, resin embedded heartwood. The resin embedded wood is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance, and thus is used for incense and perfumes. Production of Agarwood is thought to be a part of the immune system of Aquilaria trees. Commercially, Agarwood and its oil are too expensive because of their nice fragrance and the difficulty in extracting them. Not much is known about the diversity and characteristics of the fungi involved or the processes involved in the production of the fragrance. This project was designed to isolate and characterize the various fungi and bacteria involved. Seven (7) different types of Agarwood and three different Agarwood oils were purchased from a perfumery in Saudi Arabia representing products of Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia. All seven (7) Agarwood types yielded seven (7) different fungi and 12 different species of bacteria. These studies have shown that Agarwood types have both fungi and bacteria associated with them. In addition, Agarwood oil appears to inhibit the growth of both fungi and bacteria.

Subject Area

Plant biology|Microbiology

Recommended Citation

Doaa Sami Jaha, "Microbial population associated with Agarwood and Agarwood oil" (2011). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1497834.