With antimicrobial resistance becoming an increasingly severe issue in both the developed and developing regions of the world, new strategies need to be employed to identify and characterise novel antimicrobial activity. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram negative pathogen and a major cause of opportunistic infections in burn victims and cystic fibrosis patients. Due to a wide repertoire of antibiotic resistance mechanisms, these infections are difficult to cure and thus there is a need to develop novel antimicrobial treatments. Members of the Actinobacterial genus Micromonospora produce a broad range of bioactive secondary metabolites, a number of which possess antimicrobial properties. The goal of this research is to examine the antimicrobial properties of an actinomycete strain – identified by 16S sequencing as Micromonospora –originally isolated from the Atacama desert, Chile, with a focus on identifying and characterising anti-pseudomonad activity. Bioactivity was screened for against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumanii and Enterococcus faecium. AntiSMASH analysis of assembled Illumina sequencing data was used to identify putative biosynthetic gene clusters. Antimicrobial bioactivity was observed, and potential antimicrobial biosynthetic gene clusters were identified through genome mining. This work has identified antimicrobial activity from a region of underexplored ecology, and highlights the importance of sampling and examining areas which have previously been considered too hostile to support life.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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