Littoral lichens as a novel source of potentially bioactive Actinobacteria. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cultivable Actinobacteria are the largest source of microbially derived bioactive molecules. The high demand for novel antibiotics highlights the need for exploring novel sources of these bacteria. Microbial symbioses with sessile macro-organisms, known to contain bioactive compounds likely of bacterial origin, represent an interesting and underexplored source of Actinobacteria. We studied the diversity and potential for bioactive-metabolite production of Actinobacteria associated with two marine lichens (Lichina confinis and L. pygmaea; from intertidal and subtidal zones) and one littoral lichen (Roccella fuciformis; from supratidal zone) from the Brittany coast (France), as well as the terrestrial lichen Collema auriforme (from a riparian zone, Austria). A total of 247 bacterial strains were isolated using two selective media. Isolates were identified and clustered into 101 OTUs (98% identity) including 51 actinobacterial OTUs. The actinobacterial families observed were: Brevibacteriaceae, Cellulomonadaceae, Gordoniaceae, Micrococcaceae, Mycobacteriaceae, Nocardioidaceae, Promicromonosporaceae, Pseudonocardiaceae, Sanguibacteraceae and Streptomycetaceae. Interestingly, the diversity was most influenced by the selective media rather than lichen species or the level of lichen thallus association. The potential for bioactive-metabolite biosynthesis of the isolates was confirmed by screening genes coding for polyketide synthases types I and II. These results show that littoral lichens are a source of diverse potentially bioactive Actinobacteria.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 4.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Parrot, D., Antony-Babu, S., Intertaglia, L., Grube, M., Tomasi, S., & Suzuki, M. T

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Parrot, Delphine||Antony-Babu, Sanjay||Intertaglia, Laurent||Grube, Martin||Tomasi, Sophie||Suzuki, Marcelino T

publication date

  • October 2015