Microbes form a large proportion of the environmental biomass; providing a diversity from which the useful compounds can be harnessed through isolation and identification (Thangapandian et al., 2007). A group of these microbes, the actinomycetes, have been known to produce various types of compounds of which are beneficial for medicinal and industrial use (Sharma, 2014). The aim of microbiology team is to systematically prospect for actinomycetes from the various types of ecosystems found in Sarawak. Isolation, selection and identification are done using rigorous methods to ensure minimum duplication and to discriminate the rarer actinomycete strains from those commonly found – with the possibility of discovering novel compound from rare or novel actinomycetes.

Colonies A

Colonies (a) from a strain of Planotetraspora sp. an endophyte from a plant belonging to the Zingerberaceae family (b) collected from Gunung TaiTon. The same strain when viewed under a compound microscope (c) shows short branches on which spore packets or sporangium - a typical feature of the actinomycete strain.

Zingerberaceae Family B

Actinomycete Strain C

References:

  1. Sharma, M. (2014). Actinomycetes: Source, Identification, and Their Applications. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, 3(2):801-832.
  2. Thangapandian, V., Ponmurugan, P., Pnomurugan, K. (2007). Actinomycetes Diversity in the Rhizosphere of Different Medicinal Plants in Kolly Hills – Tamilnadu, India, for Secondary Metabolite Production. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 6(1):66-70.
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