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Microb Ecol. 2009 Aug;58(2):374-83. doi: 10.1007/s00248-009-9494-z. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

Multiple, novel biologically active endophytic actinomycetes isolated from upper Amazonian rainforests.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


Microbial biodiversity provides an increasingly important source of medically and industrially useful compounds. We have isolated 14 actinomycete species from a collection of approximately 300 plant stem samples from the upper Amazonian rainforest in Peru. All of the cultured isolates produce substances with inhibitory activity directed at a range of potential fungal and bacterial pathogens. For some organisms, this activity is very broad in spectrum while other organisms show specific activity against a limited number of organisms. Two of these organisms preferentially inhibit bacterial test organisms over eukaryotic organisms. rDNA sequence analysis indicates that these organisms are not equivalent to any other cultured deposits in GenBank. Our results provide evidence of the untapped biodiversity in the form of biologically active microbes present within the tissues of higher plants.

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