Biodiversity, anti-trypanosomal activity screening, and metabolomic profiling of actinomycetes isolated from Mediterranean sponges

Cheng Cheng, Lynsey Macintyre, Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen, Hannes Horn, Paraskevi N. Polymenakou, Ruangelie Edrada-Ebel, Ute Hentschel

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Marine sponge-associated actinomycetes are considered as promising sources for the discovery of novel biologically active compounds. In the present study, a total of 64 actinomycetes were isolated from 12 different marine sponge species that had been collected offshore the islands of Milos and Crete, Greece, eastern Mediterranean. The isolates were affiliated to 23 genera representing 8 different suborders based on nearly full length 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Four putatively novel species belonging to genera Geodermatophilus, Microlunatus, Rhodococcus and Actinomycetospora were identified based on a 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of < 98.5% to currently described strains. Eight actinomycete isolates showed bioactivities against Trypanosma brucei brucei TC221 with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values <20 μg/mL. Thirty four isolates from the Milos collection and 12 isolates from the Crete collection were subjected to metabolomic analysis using high resolution LC-MS and NMR for dereplication purposes. Two isolates belonging to the genera Streptomyces (SBT348) and Micromonospora (SBT687) were prioritized based on their distinct chemistry profiles as well as their anti-trypanosomal activities. These findings demonstrated the feasibility and efficacy of utilizing metabolomics tools to prioritize chemically unique strains from microorganism collections and further highlight sponges as rich source for novel and bioactive actinomycetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0138528
Number of pages21
JournalPLOS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2015


  • sponges
  • actinobacteria
  • streptomyces
  • metabolites
  • secondary metabolites
  • metabolomics


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