Bamboo is an eco-friendly and multifunctional plant. Bamboo clothing has recently entered the textile market with a claim for its antimicrobial properties, but without scientific evidence. In this study, the antibacterial activity of plant extracts from Australian-grown bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) is investigated. Bamboo extracts were made using water, dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) and dioxane and their antibacterial properties were compared against Gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli. It was found that the extract made in 20% DMSO aqueous solution showed weak antibacterial activity, whereas the extract made using 90% dioxane aqueous solution exhibited strong antibacterial activity, even after 20 times dilution. The results indicate that antibacterial agents of P. pubescens are located in lignin, not in hemicellulose or other water-soluble chemical components.
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