Keywords: actinomycete diversity; phylogeny; rRNA; tropical rainforest
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
Five thousand actinomycetes were isolated from soil samples collected from rainforests in Singapore and the generic identities of these isolates were determined by using a procedure that combined morphological, chemotaxonomic and 16S rDNA sequence-based phylogenetic analyses. Actinomycetes belonging to a total of 36 genera were identified. The most abundant isolates are members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Actinoplanes, Actinomadura, Nonomuria, Nocardia and Streptosporangium. By phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences of our isolates together with those of known actinomycete species, we also evaluated the species diversity of several genera including Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Nonomuria, and Actinomadura. We found that: first, the tropical isolates are present in most clades represented by known species; and second, many tropical isolates form new clades distant from the known species, indicating the presence of unidentified taxa at both species and genus levels. Based on these results, we conclude that actinomycete diversity in the tropical rainforest is very great and should represent an excellent source for discovery of novel bioactive compounds.
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