Taxonomy, Physiology, and Natural Products of Actinobacteria

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Barka, Essaid Ait ; Vatsa, Parul ; Sanchez, Lisa ; Gaveau-Vaillant, Nathalie ; Jacquard, Cedric ; Klenk, Hans-Peter ; Clément, Christophe ; Ouhdouch, Yder ; van Wezel, Gilles P. (2015)
  • Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00019-15
  • Subject: Reviews
    mesheuropmc: complex mixtures | bacteria

Actinobacteria are Gram-positive bacteria with high G+C DNA content that constitute one of the largest bacterial phyla, and they are ubiquitously distributed in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Many Actinobacteria have a mycelial lifestyle and undergo complex morphological differentiation. They also have an extensive secondary metabolism and produce about two-thirds of all naturally derived antibiotics in current clinical use, as well as many anticancer, anthelmintic, and antifungal compounds. Consequently, these bacteria are of major importance for biotechnology, medicine, and agriculture. Actinobacteria play diverse roles in their associations with various higher organisms, since their members have adopted different lifestyles, and the phylum includes pathogens (notably, species of Corynebacterium, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Propionibacterium, and Tropheryma), soil inhabitants (e.g., Micromonospora and Streptomyces species), plant commensals (e.g., Frankia spp.), and gastrointestinal commensals (Bifidobacterium spp.). Actinobacteria also play an important role as symbionts and as pathogens in plant-associated microbial communities. This review presents an update on the biology of this important bacterial phylum.
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