2020 Volume 66 Issue 1 Pages 24-31
Endophytic microbes associated with medicinal plants are considered to be potential producers of various bioactive secondary metabolites. The present study investigated the distribution, antimicrobial activity and genetic features of endophytic actinomycetes isolated from the medicinal plant Cinnamomum cassia Presl collected in Hoa Binh province of northern Vietnam. Based on phenotypic characteristics, 111 actinomycetes were isolated from roots, stems and leaves of the host plants by using nine selective media. The isolated actinomycetes were mainly recovered from stems (n = 67; 60.4%), followed by roots (n = 29; 26.1%) and leaves (n = 15; 13.5%). The isolates were accordingly assigned into 5 color categories of aerial mycelium, of which gray is the most dominant (n = 42; 37.8%), followed by white (n = 33; 29.7%), yellow (n = 25; 22,5%), red (n = 8; 7.2%) and green (n = 3; 2.7%). Of the total endophytic actinomycetes tested, 38 strains (occupying 34.2%) showed antimicrobial activity against at least one of nine tested microbes and, among them, 26 actinomycetes (68.4%) revealed anthracycline-like antibiotics production. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences deposited on GenBank (NCBI) of the antibiotic-producing actinomycetes identified 3 distinct genera, including Streptomyces, Microbacterium, and Nocardia, among which Streptomyces genus was the most dominant and represented 25 different species. Further genetic investigation of the antibiotic-producing actinomycetes found that 28 (73.7%) and 11 (28.9%) strains possessed genes encoding polyketide synthase (pks) and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (nrps), respectively. The findings in the present study highlighted endophytic actinomycetes from C. cassia Presl which possessed broad-spectrum bioactivities with the potential for applications in the agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors.