Fluorescent molecules are interesting because
they have a wide variety of applications in the field of biotechnology. Many of
the fluorescent tags used in the chemical industry are based on molecules which
are derived from a natural source. Natural fluorescent molecules, such as
these, are important because they tend to be biodegradable and environmentally
friendly. Because of this, my research group is interested in locating and
isolating fluorescent molecules from natural sources. In particular, the
mushroom Naematoloma Fasciculare contains a molecule
which is highly fluorescent. Naematoloma Fasciculare
is a common mushroom which grows in most hardwood forests in
Figure 1 The pale green fluorescence of a molecule from Naematoloma Fasciculare.
The specific aim of our group is to isolate and characterize the fluorescent molecule from Naematoloma Fasciculare. Understanding these molecules could lead to applications in the fluorescent labeling industry. Also, we are interested in understanding the structural characteristics which causes these molecules to fluoresce. This would be accomplished through the use of computational chemistry. By building computer models of these molecules, their structural features could be virtually modified to investigate possible improvements in their fluorescence. Once these structural aspects are understood, modifications can be preformed on the basic structure using common organic reactions. If the results are promising, we will then test the molecules capabilities as a fluorescent tag in an actual biomedical imaging situation.
Experimental Design and Methods
The mushroom Naematoloma Fasciculare can be found in the wild
 Suzuki, K; Fujimoto, H; Yamazaki, M. The Toxic Principles of Naematoloma Fasciculare. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1983, 31, 2176-2178.
 Shiono, Y; Matsuzaka, R.; Wakamatsu, H.; Muneta, K.; Murayama, T.; Ikeda, M. Fascicularones A and B from a mycelial culture of Naematoloma Fasciculare. Phytochemistry 2004, 65, 491-496.
 Fabian, W.; Niederreiter, K; Uray, G.; Stadlbauer, W.; Substituent effects on absorption and fluorescence spectra of carbostyrils. Journal of Molecular Structure 1999, 477, 209-220.