Professor in Microbiology/Molecular Ecology
BSc (UKM), PhD (Reading)
Head, International Affairs Division
My early research work focused on isolation and characterization of microbes from various environments. The emphasis was on searching for active indigenous microorganisms that can be exploited in the biotechnological conversion of biodegradable compounds into value-added products. An active soil bacterium isolated from sago pith waste has been successfully characterized and reported. Further study involving this microorganism is being actively pursued to investigate its biochemical properties with a view to better understand the mechanism involved in biodegradation.
My recent work has focused on studying the occurrence and differentiation of microbes of importance from environmental and food sources. Analysis involved the use of conventional methods as well as using state-of the art technology involving molecular tools. The molecular tools include plasmid DNA analysis, ribotyping, hybridisation using DNA probes, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Among the microorganisms studied were B. pseudomallei, Bacillus sp., Aeromonas sp., Enterobacter and most recently, E. coli 0157 :H7.
Selected publications - Refereed Journals
Apun, K., Bujang, K.B., Jong, B.C and Salleh, M.A. 1996. Enzymatic activities of a locally isolated bacteria on sago waste residue. In C. Jose & A.Rasyad (Eds.). Sago -The Future Source of Food and Feed. Riau University Press, Indonesia, pp.129-135.
Apun, K., Yusof, A.M. and Jugang, K. 1999. Distribution of bacteria in tropical freshwater fish and ponds. International J. of Environmental Health Research 9 : 285-292.
McBurney, W.T., McCartney, A.L., Apun, K., McConnell, M.A. and Tannock, G.W. 1999. Pertubation of the enterobacterial microflora detected by molecular analysis. Microbial Ecology in Health & Disease 11 : 175-179.
Apun, K., Jong, B.C., & Salleh, M.A. 2000. Screening and isolation of a cellulolytic and amylolytic Bacillus from sago pith waste. Journal of General and Applied Microbiology 46 (5) : 263-267.
Selected publications - Proceedings
Apun, K., Ismail, G. and Hii, W, H. 1997. Isolation of B. pseudomallei from soils and its characterisation by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Proc. 10th National Biotechnology Seminar, 27-28 October 1998, Kuala Lumpur, pp.174-177.