Antimicrobial activity of actinomycetes and characterization of actinomycin-producing strain KRG-1 isolated from Karoo, South Africa

In the present study we reported the antimicrobial activity of actinomycetes isolated from aridic soil sample collected in Karoo, South Africa. Eighty-six actinomycete strains were isolated and purified, out of them thirty-four morphologically different strains were tested for antimicrobial activity. Among 35 isolates, 10 (28.57%) showed both antibacterial and antifungal activity. The ethyl acetate extract of strain KRG-1 showed the strongest antimicrobial activity and therefore was selected for further investigation. The almost complete nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene as well as distinctive matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS) profile of whole-cell proteins acquired for strain KRG-1 led to the identification of Streptomyces antibioticus KRG-1 (GenBank accession number: KX827270). The ethyl acetate extract of KRG-1 was fractionated by HPLC method against the most suppressed bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (Newman). LC//MS analysis led to the identification of the active peak that exhibited UV-VIS maxima at 442 nm and the ESI-HRMS spectrum showing the prominent ion clusters for [M-H2O+H]+ at m/z 635.3109 and for [M+Na]+ at m/z 1269.6148. This information could be assigned to chromopeptide lactone antibiotic - actinomycin. Our results suggest that unexplored soils could be an interesting source for exploring antibacterial secondary metabolites.