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Uncovering the potential of novel micromonosporae isolated from an extreme hyper-arid Atacama Desert soil

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lorena Carro Garcia, Dr Jean Franco Castro Figueroa, Dr Valeria Razmilic Neira, Dr Imen Nouioui, Professor Michael Goodfellow, Emeritus Professor Hans-Peter Klenk



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019, The Author(s). The taxonomic status, biotechnological and ecological potential of several Micromonospora strains isolated from an extreme hyper arid Atacama Desert soil were determined. Initially, a polyphasic study was undertaken to clarify the taxonomic status of five micromonosporae, strains LB4, LB19, LB32 T , LB39 T and LB41, isolated from an extreme hyper-arid soil collected from one of the driest regions of the Atacama Desert. All of the isolates were found to have chemotaxonomic, cultural and morphological properties consistent with their classification in the genus Micromonospora. Isolates LB32 T and LB39 T were distinguished from their nearest phylogenetic neighbours and proposed as new species, namely as Micromonospora arida sp. nov. and Micromonospora inaquosa sp. nov., respectively. Eluted methanol extracts of all of the isolates showed activity against a panel of bacterial and fungal indicator strains, notably against multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 700603 while isolates LB4 and LB41 showed pronounced anti-tumour activity against HepG2 cells. Draft genomes generated for the isolates revealed a rich source of novel biosynthetic gene clusters, some of which were unique to individual strains thereby opening up the prospect of selecting especially gifted micromonosporae for natural product discovery. Key stress-related genes detected in the genomes of all of the isolates provided an insight into how micromonosporae adapt to the harsh environmental conditions that prevail in extreme hyper-arid Atacama Desert soils.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carro L, Castro JF, Razmilic V, Nouioui I, Pan C, Igual JM, Jaspars M, Goodfellow M, Bull AT, Asenjo JA, Klenk H-P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2019

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 18/03/2019

Acceptance date: 12/12/2018

Date deposited: 01/04/2019

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-38789-z

PubMed id: 30886188


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