A synthetic microbial consortium called Effective Microorganisms (EM) consists mainly of photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Various effects of EMXGOLD, a health drink produced by EM, on life cycle of Dictyostelium discoideum were described previously. Here, we report our attempt to identify the active principle, termed EMF, that brought about the observed effects. Throughout the purification processes, the presence of the active principle was monitored by promoted fruiting body formation. By liquid-liquid separation the activity was recovered in aqueous phase, which, after concentration, was further subjected to reverse-phase column chromatography. No activity was detected in any eluant, while almost all the activity was recovered in residual insoluble material. The application of conventional organic chemistry procedures to the residual fraction did not lead to any informative results. Acid treatment of the insoluble material produced air bubbles, suggesting it to be composed of some inorganic carbonate. Viewed under scanning electronmicroscope, the residue revealed spherical particles of μm size range. Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) Spectroscopy pointed to the existence, on the surface of the particles, of magnesium and, to a certain extent, of potassium. In separate experiments, acid treatment and alkali neutralization of EMXGOLD completely wiped out the stimulatory activity of fruiting body formation. These lines of evidence indicate these Mg, K-containing microparticles to be an active principle of EM culture extract. How these particles exert their effect is currently under intensive investigation.
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